SWEDEN: ICA December stores sales increased by 4.3%

Solna, Sweden, 2018-Jan-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sales in ICA stores increased by 4.3% in December 2017 compared with the corresponding month the year before. Sales in like-for-like stores increased by 3.6%.

December 2017 January – December 2017
Store sales
excl. VAT
Mkr Change all stores Change like-for-like Mkr Change all stores Change like-for-like
Maxi ICA Stormarknad 3,619 5.1% 4.2% 34,897 3.2% 3.0%
ICA Kvantum 2,745 5.5% 3.7% 27,866 4.1% 2.1%
ICA Supermarket 3,117 3.0% 2.6% 34,520 2.5% 2.1%
ICA Nära 1,473 3.3% 3.7% 17,051 2.1% 2.3%
Total 10,953 4.3% 3.6% 114,334 3.1% 2.4%

In December 2017, sales in ICA stores totalled SEK 10,953 million excluding VAT, which is an increase of 4.3% compared with the same month in the previous year. Sales in January-December 2017 amounted to SEK 114,334 million, an increase of 3.1% compared with the previous year.

ICA Gruppen estimates the calendar effect for December to be -0.4%

At 31 December 2017, the number of ICA stores was 1,287. Store sales for January will be published on 8 February 2018 at 07:00 CET.

To see all publication dates in 2018, please visit ICA Gruppen’s website http://www.icagruppen.se/en/investors/calendar.

For more information:
ICA Gruppen press service
Telephone number: +46 10 422 52 52

Source: ICA Gruppen

Zalando sent out the first parcel from its fulfillment center in Brunna, Sweden

Zalando sent out the first parcel from its fulfillment center in Brunna, Sweden

 

Berlin, 2017-Oct-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Zalando, Europe’s leading online fashion platform, sent out the first parcel from its fulfillment center in Brunna yesterday. Earlier in May this year, Zalando fruitfully completed its location search for the first Nordic fulfillment center in Sweden in order to better serve its customers in the Nordics. The fulfillment center in Brunna, close to Stockholm, is operated by the local partner Ingram Micro. The test operations just commenced and logistics processes will be further ramped up over the course of the next months.

“We are continuously advancing our logistics network and strive to be internationally well positioned in order to keep improving our localized offer. The fulfillment center will ensure that Zalando’s strong and growing customer base experiences a more convenient service and receives orders faster in all Nordic markets. The first parcels will be shipped today, and full operations are expected to be secured in 2018. The satellite warehouse in Brunna will decrease lead times significantly, enabling next day deliveries to all Nordic capitals and the possibility for same day delivery in Stockholm”, says Kenneth Melchior, Nordic Cluster Head at Zalando.

The fulfillment center in Brunna is ideal strategically due to its geographic location. The position close to Stockholm in combination with the sophisticated infrastructure at hand, will make it possible to cut lead times in half. Denmark and Sweden will see the average delivery time decrease to 1-2 days from 2-5. Finland and Norway can expect a decrease to 1-3 days instead of the current 3-7. The fulfillment center will moreover provide a foundation for testing new services catering to changing customer needs, like the return on demand pilot ‘Zalando Hämtar’ currently running in Stockholm.

ABOUT ZALANDO

Zalando is Europe’s leading online fashion platform for women, men and children. We offer our customers a one-stop, convenient shopping experience with an extensive selection of fashion articles including shoes, apparel and accessories, with free delivery and returns. Our assortment of almost 2,000 international brands ranges from popular global brands, fast fashion and local brands, and is complemented by our private label products. Our localized offering addresses the distinct preferences of our customers in each of the 15 European markets we serve: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and the United Kingdom. Our logistics network with four centrally located fulfillment centers in Germany allows us to efficiently serve our customers throughout Europe, supported by warehouses in Northern Italy and France with a focus on local customer needs. We believe that our integration of fashion, operations and online technology give us the capability to deliver a compelling value proposition to both our customers and fashion brand partners.

Zalando’s shops attract about 200 million visits per month. In the second quarter of 2017, 70 percent of traffic came from mobile devices, resulting in 21.2 million active customers by the end of the quarter.

Contact:

Phone: +49 (0)30 2096 81 484
Mail: press@zalando.com
Twitter: zalando_press

Source: Zalando

###

Zalando to open its first Nordic fulfillment center in Sweden later this year

Zalando to open its first Nordic fulfillment center in Sweden later this year

 

BERLIN, Germany, 2017-May-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Zalando, Europe’s leading online fashion platform, successfully completed its location search to open its first Nordic fulfillment center in Sweden later this year. Together with the developer NREP Logicenters, Zalando will build a fulfillment center in Brunna, situated in the county of Stockholm. To meet the demand of the Nordic customers, and to further penetrate the market, investing in convenience is crucial. The first parcels are set to leave the fulfillment center later this year.

“Zalando has a bold but feasible vision for the Nordic markets. We want to enhance our customer proposition and increase our revenues to 1 billion EUR in the upcoming years. In order to do so, we need to further invest in our platform strategy and expand our logistics network locally so we can get closer to our Nordic customers. I am happy to announce that operations in our first fulfillment center near Stockholm will start within the next months”, said Rubin Ritter, Co-CEO at Zalando.

The Stockholm fulfillment center will ensure that Zalando’s strong and growing customer base experiences a more convenient consumer journey and receives orders faster in all Nordic markets. First tests and operations will start this year, full operations will be up and running in 2018. The warehouse in the Stockholm area will decrease lead times significantly, securing possible next day deliveries in all Nordic capitals (Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo) and the potential for same day delivery in Stockholm. When the fulfillment center is ramped up to full speed, Zalando will be able to cut lead times in half across the Nordic region (to 1-2 days for Sweden and Denmark, and 1-3 days for Norway and Finland).

“The Nordic e-commerce market is mature and developing fast. Ensuring consumer satisfaction, shortening lead times and providing a fashionable assortment are essential elements moving forward. This is why we are investing in establishing a new 30,000 sqm fulfillment center near Stockholm and extending our selection of more than 100 Nordic brands, with the latest additions being Holzweiler, Hunkydory and House of Dagmar”, said Kenneth Melchior, Cluster Head Nordics at Zalando. “Having this setup in place, we are also thinking of future test pilots for innovative services such as return on demand.”

“We are very pleased that Zalando has chosen NREP Logicenters as their partner for their expansion in the Nordics. As a leading provider of modern logistics properties, we will be able to support Zalando’s future growth and are looking forward to a successful partnership, said Rickard S. Dahlberg, Partner and co-Founder at NREP.

The fulfillment center in Brunna was chosen mainly due to its strategic location and advanced infrastructure, which is ideal for catering to all Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish customers. It will be operated by an experienced logistics provider and create a few hundred jobs. Zalando started to internationalize its logistics network in December 2015 by opening the first fulfillment center outside Germany in the North of Italy. This was followed by a fulfillment centre near Stettin in Poland, which was inaugurated in November last year. In the beginning of 2017 another warehouse was opened close to Paris in France which will now be followed by the most recent addition in Sweden later this year.

ABOUT ZALANDO
Zalando (https://corporate.zalando.com) is Europe’s leading online fashion platform for women, men and children. We offer our customers a one-stop, convenient shopping experience with an extensive selection of fashion articles including shoes, apparel and accessories, with free delivery and returns. Our assortment of over 1,500 international brands ranges from popular global brands, fast fashion and local brands, and is complemented by our private label products. Our localized offering addresses the distinct preferences of our customers in each of the 15 European markets we serve: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and the United Kingdom. Our logistics network with four centrally located fulfillment centers in Germany allows us to efficiently serve our customers throughout Europe, supported by a warehouse in Northern Italy with a focus on local customer needs. We believe that our integration of fashion, operations and online technology give us the capability to deliver a compelling value proposition to both our customers and fashion brand partners. Zalando’s shops attract over 160 million visits per month. In the first quarter of 2017, more than 68 percent of traffic came from mobile devices, resulting in 20.4 million active customers by the end of the quarter.

CONTACT:
Sigrid Dalberg-Krajewski
Corporate Communications Nordics
sigrid.dalberg-krajewski@zalando.se

Source: Zalando

###

Amazon Web Services to open an infrastructure region in Sweden in 2018

New AWS Infrastructure Region will enable customers to run workloads in Sweden and serve end-users across the Nordics with even lower latency

SEATTLE, 2017-Apr-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today (Apr. 4, 2017) announced that it plans to open an infrastructure region in Sweden in 2018. The new AWS EU (Stockholm) Region will comprise of three Availability Zones at launch. Currently, AWS provides 42 Availability Zones across 16 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another five Availability Zones, across two AWS Regions in France and China, expected to come online this year. For more information on AWS’s global infrastructure, go to https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/.

“For over a decade, we’ve had a large number of Nordic customers building their businesses on AWS because we have much broader functionality than any other cloud provider, a significantly larger partner and customer ecosystem, and unmatched maturity, reliability, security, and performance,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “The Nordic’s most successful startups, including iZettle, King, Mojang, and Supercell, as well as some of the most respected enterprises in the world, such as IKEA, Nokia, Scania, and Telenor, depend on AWS to run their businesses, enabling them to be more agile and responsive to their customers. An AWS Region in Stockholm enables Swedish and Nordic customers, with local latency or data sovereignty requirements, to move the rest of their applications to AWS and enjoy cost and agility advantages across their entire application portfolio.”

This announcement has been welcomed by Sweden’s Innovation and Enterprise Minister, Mikael Damberg, describing the decision as good news for the country. “I am very happy to welcome AWS to Sweden. Their decision to establish a new region in our country is a recognition of Sweden’s competitive position within the European Union (EU), with the highest levels of renewable energy, in the power grid, in the EU, as well as a world leading digital infrastructure and IT industry,” said Mr Damberg. “The AWS investment in Sweden will strengthen our position in the global digital shift. For us, trade in a modern globalized economy is not only about goods, but also about services, sharing of knowledge, and the free flow of data.”

AWS has been steadily increasing its investment in the Nordics to serve its growing base of customers. In 2011, AWS opened a Point of Presence (PoP) in Stockholm to enable customers to serve content to their end users with low latency. In 2014 and 2015 respectively, AWS opened offices in Stockholm and Espoo, Finland. Today, AWS has teams of account managers, solutions architects, business developers, partner managers, professional services consultants, technology evangelists, start-up community developers, and more, helping customers of all sizes as they move to AWS. When launched, the AWS EU (Stockholm) Region will enable organizations to provide even lower latency to end users across the Nordics. Additionally, local AWS customers with data sovereignty requirements will be able to store their data in Sweden with the assurance that their content will not move unless they move it.

Organizations across the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden – have been increasingly moving their mission-critical applications to AWS. Hot Nordic startups like Bambora, iZettle, Quinyx, Tidal, Tink, Tradeshift, Trustpilot, and Vivino, as well as leading gaming firms like King, Mojang, and Supercell have built their businesses on top of AWS, enabling them to scale rapidly and expand their geographic reach in minutes. Enterprises in the Nordics, like ASSA ABLOY, Finnair, F-Secure, Gelato, Husqvarna, IKEA, Kesko, Modern Times Group, Nokia, Sanoma, Scania, Schibstedt, Telenor, Wärtsilä, WirelessCar (Volvo), WOW Air, and Yleisradio (Yle), are also using AWS to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, and speed time-to-market.

One Nordic enterprise that is using AWS to innovate is ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, with over 47,000 employees and annual sales of USD $8.3 billion worldwide. The company’s hospitality division is using AWS to power their Mobile Access solution, allowing hotels to offer their guests the ability to check-in via mobile phone and to use their device as their room key. “AWS has been critical to our ability to innovate and quickly develop new solutions for our customers,” said Jan Hedström, Cloud Operations Manager at ASSA ABLOY. “With AWS, we have been able to develop and test new business ideas the same day they come up, allowing the project teams to build fruitful partnerships with internal stakeholders, such as business owners and project managers. This also allows us to bring new services, such as our Mobile Access solution, to customers worldwide, such as major hotel chains, who are using the solution to enhance their guests’ stay.”

Another well-known Nordic enterprise using AWS to transform their organization is Scania, a world leading manufacturer of heavy vehicles.Scania has a long history of research and development and is bringing advanced technologies to their trucks, buses, coaches, and engines to help them reach their goal of becoming the leader in sustainable transport solutions. Scania is training hundreds of their employees on the latest AWS technologies, enabling them to develop and build reliable, secure, and scalable solutions quickly. Scania is now planning to use AWS for their connected vehicle systems, allowing truck owners to track their vehicles, collect real-time running data, and run diagnostics to understand when maintenance is needed, reducing vehicle downtime. ”In a connected world, a flexible, scalable, and reliable cloud infrastructure, such as what we get from AWS, is critical for our ability to develop, experiment, innovate, and stay ahead of the competition,” said Michael Müller, Director Infrastructure Services, at Scania. “For us, cloud is more than a technology, it is a fundamental part of our strategy moving forward. Through connectivity, powered by the cloud, we can enhance vehicle performance and customer profitability. This makes AWS much more than just a service provider, they are an important business partner supporting our future growth.”

WirelessCar, part of the Volvo Group, is a Swedish company using AWS to innovate quickly. WirelessCar connects two million vehicles in more than 35 countries. It moved its delivery engine, a test environment for WirelessCar software, from its on-premises data center to AWS. WirelessCar delivers global, high quality, and secure services, that enable vehicles to respond to remote user commands, intelligently plot routes, and communicate with the manufacturer about service requirements. “We run our entire delivery engine on AWS, from test and development through to deployment,” said Martin Rosell, Managing Director at WirelessCar. “Using AWS we are able to provide our developers with a more flexible, agile, and scalable platform. Before moving to AWS we added major features only a few times per year. Now, we are able to add features on-demand and in continuous deployment mode. This rapid pace of innovation has allowed us to scale our business according to customer needs and has also brought greater transparency to our operations. With AWS’s pay-as-you go pricing, we will be able to work out the precise cost of each of our services and make better, more informed business decisions as a result.”

As well as innovative enterprises, many of the most well-known and fastest growing startups in the Nordics are using AWS to build and rapidly expand their businesses around the world. One former startup which is now a leading mobile gaming company, Finland-based Supercell, used AWS to run their business from day one. Supercell is ‘all-in’ on AWS and their games – Boom Beach, Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Hay Day – make use of almost every service available on AWS and attract more than 100-million players on iOS and Android devices every day. “Using AWS we have been able to focus our resources on improving the gaming experience for our players, instead of wasting time on procuring and maintaining the infrastructure,” said Sami Yliharju, Head of IT Infrastructure at Supercell. “Our games generate about five terabytes of log data every day, which we analyze to better understand player behavior and improve the game experience. This would be very hard to maintain with an on-premises setup, especially as we have seen explosive growth. With AWS doing the heavy-lifting, we have been able to iterate faster to quickly and seamlessly deliver new games and features to our millions of users around the world.”

Trustpilot, another Nordic startup, leveraged AWS to expand its business globally. The company provides over 150,000 e-commerce businesses, across 24 countries, with TrustScores. A TrustScore is a consumer rating that is based on more than 27 million online reviews. “Trustpilot chose to go ‘all-in’ on AWS from day one to enable us to support our rapid growth,” said Rudy Martin, VP of Operations at Trustpilot, which serves over 1.6 billion website impressions per month. “Retail is a seasonal business which experiences peaks during the holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, and when there are special events, such as Black Friday sales. These peaks are reflected in the increased demand for reviews to help the consumer make an informed purchasing decision. AWS enables us to easily scale our infrastructure to manage these peaks in traffic, which can sometimes exceed 250 percent of our usual daily traffic load.”

In addition to established enterprises and rapidly growing start-ups, AWS also has a vibrant ecosystem in the Nordics, including partners that have built cloud practices and innovative technology solutions on AWS. AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting Partners in the Nordics helping customers to migrate to the cloud include Accenture, Capgemini, Crayon Group, CSC, Cybercom, Dashsoft, Enfo Group, Evry, Jayway, Nordcloud, Proact IT Group, Solita, Tieto, Wipro, and many others. Among the APN Technology Partners and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the Nordics using AWS to deliver their software to customers around the world include Basware, eBuilder, F-Secure, Queue-it, Xstream, and many others. For the full list of the members of the AWS Partner Network, please visit: https://aws.amazon.com/partners/

About Amazon Web Services

For 11 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 90 fully featured services for compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, developer, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), security, hybrid and enterprise applications, from 42 Availability Zones (AZs) across 16 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the UK. AWS services are trusted by millions of active customers around the world monthly — including the fastest growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit https://aws.amazon.com.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about.

Media Hotline:
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr

Source: Amazon Web Services, Inc.

Citycon divests retail property Länken in Umeå, Sweden

Helsinki, 2016-Dec-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Citycon has signed an agreement to sell its share in the retail property Länken in Umeå to a Swedish real estate company. Citycon’s proceeds from the transaction are approximately EUR 24 million and subject to closing adjustments related to the ongoing (re)development in the property. The purchase price is in line with the asset’s latest IFRS fair value. The transaction is estimated to close in Q1 2017.

“This divestment reflects Citycon’s strategy to focus on urban, grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordics and Baltics. Following this divestment all of Citycon’s investments in Sweden are shopping centres in the Stockholm and Gothenburg areas”, says Marcel Kokkeel, Chief Executive Officer at Citycon.

Citycon Oyj (Nasdaq Helsinki: CTY1S) is a leading owner, developer and manager of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic regions, managing assets that total EUR 5 billion and with market capitalisation of over EUR 2 billion. For more information about Citycon, please visit www.citycon.com

Contact:
Marcel Kokkeel
CEO
Tel. +358 20 766 4521 or +358 40 154 6760
marcel.kokkeel@citycon.com

Source: Citycon Oyj

Klépierre subsidiary Steen & Strøm completes sale of its stakes in two shopping centers in Norway and Sweden

Paris, 2016-Nov-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Klépierre today (November 7, 2016) announces that Steen & Strøm, its 56.1%-controlled subsidiary, has completed the sale of its stakes in two shopping centers: 49.9% of Åsane Storsenter in Bergen, Norway (49,604 sq.m.) and 100% of Torp Köpcentrum1 in Uddevalla, Sweden (31,600 sq.m.) for a total consideration of 235 million euros2 excluding transfer duties. On a group share basis for Klépierre, proceeds from the disposals amount to 132 million euros.

The two centers were acquired by the Olav Thon Group, one of Scandinavia’s largest private property owners.

For the first 9 months of 2016, Torp Köpcentrum contributed 4.9 million euros to net rental income for Klépierre on a total share basis. Åsane Storsenter was consolidated under the equity accounting method and contributed 3.9 million euros to net rental income for the same period.

These disposals are in line with Klépierre’s asset rotation strategy for optimizing its portfolio. To date in 2016, 437 million euros worth of assets have been sold and 41 million euros are under sale and purchase promissory agreements.

The transaction also releases additional financial capacity for Steen & Strøm to fund the development projects in its pipeline and potential targeted acquisitions in Scandinavia.

ABOUT KLÉPIERRE

A leading pure play shopping center property company in Europe, Klépierre combines development, rental, property and asset management skills. The company’s portfolio is valued at EUR 22.6 billion at June 30, 2016 and comprises large shopping centers in 16 countries in Continental Europe which altogether welcome 1.2 billion visitors per year. Klépierre holds a controlling stake in Steen & Strøm (56.1%), Scandinavia’s number one shopping center owner and manager. Klépierre is a French REIT (SIIC) listed on Euronext Paris and included in the CAC 40, EPRA Euro Zone and GPR 250 indexes. It is also included in ethical indexes, such as DJSI World and Europe, FTSE4Good, STOXX® Global ESG Leaders, Euronext Vigeo France 20 and World 120, and Euronext Low Carbon 100 Europe, and is ranked as a Green Star by GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark). These distinctions underscore the Group’s commitment to a proactive sustainable development policy. For more information: www.klepierre.com

AGENDA:

February 6, 2017 Full year earnings (press release after market close)

INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACTS:
Vanessa FRICANO
+ 33 (0)1 40 67 52 24
vanessa.fricano@klepierre.com

Julien ROUCH
+33 (0)1 40 67 53 08
julien.rouch@klepierre.com

Hubert D’AILLIERES
+33 (0)1 40 67 51 37
hubert.daillieres@klepierre.com

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Lorie LICHTLEN
Burson-Marsteller i&e
+33 (0)1 56 03 13 01
lorie.lichtlen@bm.com

Camille PETIT
Burson-Marsteller i&e
+33 (0)1 56 03 12 98
camille.petit@bm.com

This press release is available on Klépierre’s website: www.klepierre.com

Source: Klépierre

Lindex expands Reuse and recycle initiative at all its stores in Sweden and Norway

Lindex expands Reuse and recycle initiative at all its stores in Sweden and Norway
Lindex expands Reuse and recycle initiative at all its stores in Sweden and Norway

 

Gothenburg, Sweden, 2016-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Lindex launches the possibility for their customers to hand in used textile for recycling and reuse in all stores in Sweden and Norway. Reuse and recycle is a part of the company’s long term ambition to close the material loop. In Sweden, Lindex is collaborating with Myrorna.

Lindex launched the possibility to hand in textiles for reuse and recycle, in a limited amount of stores in 2014 but are now expanding the initiatives to all stores in Sweden and Norway. During the autumn the initiative will also be launched in thirty stores in Finland.

Every year approximately eight kilos of textiles are thrown away in Sweden. We want to change that, and together with our customers, reuse old textiles in the best possible way. Our long term goal is to close the material loop and use fibers recycled by consumers in our own production in order to decrease our need of new raw materials, says,Sara Winroth, Sustainability Manager at Lindex.

Today the collected textiles are given a new life in Myrorna’s second hand shops or through recycling where they become parts in new products such as cloths for the industry or isolation material. Since the start over six tons of textile have been collected.

”This collaboration gives us the possibility to reach new donors and is really in line with our ambition to increase reuse and make it easier for people to donate instead of throwing away. In addition the collaboration with Lindex contributes to us making a profit that is dedicated to social work for people in need of help and support in Sweden, says, Emma Enebog, Sustainability Manager at Myrorna.

For more information, please contact:

Miriam Tjernström
Press Relations Manager, Lindex
Phone: 46 (0)31 739 50 60
E-mail: press@lindex.com

Source: Lindex

###

Citycon CEO KOKKEEL on 1H2016: stable financial results driven by the good performance in Sweden and Norway

HELSINKI, FINLAND, 2016-Jul-17 — /EPR Retail News/ —

APRIL-JUNE 2016
– Gross rental income increased to EUR 62.2 million (Q2/2015: 46.6) mainly due to the acquisition of Norwegian shopping centre company Sektor Gruppen AS (Sektor) in July 2015. Gross rental income of Citycon’s Norwegian operations amounted to EUR 20.9 million. The acquisition also increased net rental income by EUR 18.1 million.
– EPRA Earnings increased by EUR 8.4 million, or 27.9%, to EUR 38.7 million especially due to the acquisition of the Norwegian operations. EPRA Earnings per share (basic) was EUR 0.043 (EUR 0.047).
– Earnings per share was EUR 0.04 (EUR 0.06). The decrease resulted mainly from higher net financing expenses, deferred taxes and higher number of shares.
– The company specifies its guidance relating to EPRA Operating profit, EPRA Earnings and EPRA Earnings per share.

JANUARY-JUNE 2016
– Gross rental income increased to EUR 125.4 million (Q1-Q2/2015: 92.6) mainly due to the acquisition of Sektor. Gross rental income of Citycon’s Norwegian operations amounted to EUR 41.6 million. The acquisition also increased net rental income by EUR 36.4 million.
– EPRA Earnings increased by EUR 17.2 million, or 29.9%, to EUR 74.6 million especially due to the Norwegian acquisition. EPRA Earnings per share (basic) decreased slightly to EUR 0.084 (0.090) due to the substantially higher number of shares.
– Earnings per share (basic) increased to EUR 0.11 (0.10). The increase was mainly a result of higher fair value gains.

KEY FIGURES

Q2/2016 Q2/2015 %2) Q1–Q2/2016 Q1–Q2/2015 %2) 2015
Net rental income MEUR 57.0 42.6 33.9 112.2 82.3 36.3 199.6
Direct Operating profit3) MEUR 50.5 37.6 34.3 98.4 72.5 35.8 175.4
Earnings per share (basic)1) EUR 0.04 0.06 -24.1 0.11 0.10 9.0 0.14
Fair value of investment properties MEUR 4,110.0 2,819.6 45.8 4,110.0 2,819.6 45.8 4,091.6
Loan to Value (LTV)3) % 45.4 41.5 9.5 45.4 41.5 9.5 45.7
EPRA based key figures3)
EPRA Earnings MEUR 38.7 30.2 27.9 74.6 57.5 29.9 130.8
EPRA Earnings per share (basic)1) EUR 0.043 0.047 -8.5 0.084 0.090 -7.0 0.173
EPRA NAV per share EUR 2.80 2.99 -6.3 2.80 2.99 -6.3 2.74

1) Calculated with the issue-adjusted number of shares resulting from the rights issue completed in July 2015.
2) Change from previous year. Change-% is calculated from exact figures.
3) New ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) guidelines on alternative performance measures are effective for the financial year 2016. Citycon presents alternative performance measures, such as EPRA performance measures and loan to value, to reflect the underlying business performance and to enhance comparability between financial periods. Alternative performance measures presented in this report should not be considered as a substitute for measures of performance in accordance with the IFRS.

CEO, MARCEL KOKKEEL:
The first half of 2016 showed stable financial results driven by the good performance in Sweden and Norway. Despite the weaker economic environment in Finland we still see good tenant demand for high quality properties. Our like-for-like net rental income including Norway and Kista Galleria was 0.9%.

The solid demand for prime properties is reflected in our leasing success in Iso Omena where we signed an agreement with Zara, the first and only one in the western Helsinki area. We have been successful in attracting appealing fashion, design and restaurant brands to Iso Omena that, so far, have exclusively been featured in central Helsinki. The first phase of Iso Omena, to be opened in mid-August, is now 95% pre-let.

The integration of the Norwegian operations has proceeded well and is completed. We have been able to achieve much better results than initially targeted. During the quarter, we completed a cost savings programme of EUR 5 million through further reorganization measures and synergies. The savings, to be achieved in 2017, are in addition to the already materialized administrative cost savings in Norway of approximately EUR 1.5 million.

We successfully continued the recycling of capital in line with our strategy to focus on urban, grocery-anchored shopping centres. During 2016, we have divested a shopping centre in Tallinn and a portfolio of five assets in Finland for a total value of EUR 100 million, both above their IFRS fair value. Citycon aims to divest an additional EUR 200-250 million of non-core assets, mainly in Finland, within the coming 1-2 years.

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
The macroeconomic environment in Citycon’s operating countries remained unchanged during the second quarter of 2016. The countries are still on diverging macroeconomic courses: the business environment in Norway, Sweden, Estonia and Denmark remains strong or relatively strong, while the Finnish economy is showing weaker growth.

In 2016, the European Commission forecasts Euro area GDP growth to reach 1.6%. Sweden and Estonia are showing stronger growth figures than the Euro area average while Norway and Denmark are predicted to grow slightly below the Euro area forecast. The GDP growth for Finland is still expected to remain modest, although the trend is positive also in Finland. Finland’s GDP growth is dependent on domestic demand, structural reforms and recovery of the country’s stagnating export markets.

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT KEY FIGURES

% Finland Norway Sweden Estonia Denmark Euro
area
GDP growth forecast for 2016 0.7 1.2 3.4 1.9 1.2 1.6
Unemployment, May 2016 9.0 4.6 7.2 6.4 6.1 10.1
Retail sales growth, Jan–May 2016 0.4 3.0 4.5 6.0 -1.0 1.6

Sources: European Commission, Eurostat, Statistics Finland/ Norway/Sweden/ Estonia/ Denmark

The unemployment rates in all Citycon’s operating countries remain below the Euro area average (10.1%). During the first half of 2016 consumer confidence levels have stayed stable in Citycon’s operating countries, however, with a positive trend in Finland. The consumer confidence levels in Finland, Sweden and Denmark remain positive, while the consumer confidence in Norway, Estonia and on average in Euro area is still slightly negative. (Source: Eurostat) Consumer prices have remained relatively unchanged compared to the previous year in all Citycon’s operating countries apart from Norway where  prices have increased. (Source: Statistics Finland/Norway/Sweden/Estonia/Denmark)

Retail sales growth for the first five months of 2016 has been strong in Estonia, Sweden and Norway, mildly positive in Finland, but negative in Denmark. (Source: Statistics Finland/Norway/Sweden/Estonia/Denmark)

In Finland and in Norway prime rents are forecasted to remain unchanged in 2016. In Sweden, prime shopping centre rents are forecasted to increase during the year while in Estonia downwards pressure on rents has increased due to intensifying competition. (Source: JLL)

In Finland the demand for prime properties is strong and the demand for secondary properties has increased. In Norway the investment market is expected to remain active and yields to remain stable in the short-term. In Sweden the investors’ risk-taking has changed to more opportunistic direction and besides prime shopping centres, also yields for secondary shopping centres have decreased. Prime yields are also expected to continue decreasing in Estonia. (Source: JLL)

RISKS
The company’s core risks and uncertainties, along with its main risk management actions and principles, are described in detail in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2015 and in the Financial Statements 2015.

Citycon’s Board of Directors believes there have been no material changes to the key risk areas outlined in the Annual and Sustainability Report 2015. The main risks are associated with property values, leasing, development projects, operations, environment and people and the availability and cost of financing.

DIVIDEND AND EQUITY REPAYMENT
Citycon’s dividend paid in 2016 for the financial year 2015 and equity repayment in 2016:

Dividends and equity repayments paid on 30 June 2016
Dividend
   (record date 18 March 2016, payment date 29 March 2016) 1 EUR / share 0.01
Equity repayment
   (record date 18 March 2016, payment date 29 March 2016) 1 EUR / share 0.0275
Equity repayment Q2
   (record date 22 June 2016, payment date 30 June 2016) 2 EUR / share 0.0375
Board’s authorization remaining for equity repayments 3
Equity repayments Q3 and Q4 in total maximum EUR / share 0.0750
   – equity repayment Q3 (possible payment date 30 September 2016)
   – equity repayment Q4 (possible payment date 30 December 2016)

1) AGM 2016 decision.
2) AGM 2016 authorized the Board to decide on the distribution of assets from the invested unrestricted equity fund. The amount to be distributed based on the authorization shall not exceed EUR 0.1125 per share.
3) Unless the Board of Directors decides otherwise for a justified reason, the authorization granted by AGM 2016 can be used to distribute equity repayment three times. Following equity repayment of 30 June 2016 the payment dates of the possible further equity repayments in 2016 will be on 30 September 2016 and 30 December 2016. The equity repayment will be paid to a shareholder registered in the company’s shareholders’ register maintained by Euroclear Finland Ltd on the record date for the equity repayment. The Board of Directors will decide on the record date in connection with each equity repayment decision. Citycon shall make separate announcements of such Board resolutions.

OUTLOOK
The company specifies its outlook. Citycon forecasts the 2016 Direct Operating profit to change by EUR 17 to 26 million (previously 16–30) and EPRA Earnings to change by EUR 11 to 20 million (previously 9–23) from previous year. Additionally, the company expects EPRA EPS (basic) to be EUR 0.1575–0.1725 (previously 0.155–0.175).

The specified outlook acknowledges the impact of the completed non-core portfolio divestment in Finland as well as the weaker Norwegian krone and the impact of the metro delay in Iso Omena. These estimates are also based on the existing property portfolio as well as on the prevailing level of inflation, the EUR-SEK and EUR-NOK exchange rates, and current interest rates. Premises taken offline for planned or ongoing (re)development projects reduce net rental income during the year.

FINANCIAL CALENDAR
Interim report Jan–Sept 2016     20 October around 9 a.m.

Citycon is an owner, developer and manager of urban grocery-anchored shopping centres in the Nordic and Baltic region, managing assets that total EUR 4.7 billion and with market capitalisation of close to EUR 2 billion. Citycon is the No. 1 shopping centre owner in Finland and Estonia and among the market leaders in Norway and Sweden. Citycon has also established a foothold in Denmark.

Citycon has investment-grade credit ratings from Moody’s (Baa1) and Standard & Poor’s (BBB). Citycon Oyj’s share is listed in Nasdaq Helsinki.

For further information, please contact:
Eero Sihvonen
Executive VP and CFO
Tel. +358 50 557 9137
eero.sihvonen@citycon.com

Henrica Ginström
VP, IR and Communications
Tel. +358 50 554 4296
henrica.ginstrom@citycon.com

###

Citycon CEO KOKKEEL on 1H2016: stable financial results driven by the good performance in Sweden and Norway
Citycon CEO KOKKEEL on 1H2016: stable financial results driven by the good performance in Sweden and Norway

 

Source: Citycon

WWF and H&M announce global partnership

Today on World Water Day, conservation organization WWF and fashion retailer H&M are proud to announce a five year global partnership. The new agreement expands the successful partnership from 2013, focusing on water stewardship, to also include climate action and a strategic dialogue related to H&M’s and the fashion industry’s broader sustainability challenges. This marks one more step towards a truly sustainable fashion industry.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, 2016-Mar-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — “Together, we are taking a holistic and science-based approach that aims to break new ground within sustainability and fashion. After working closely together with H&M for the past three years, we know they are committed to being good stewards of shared resources, and eager to contribute to shifting the industry towards more sustainable models,” says Mariann Eriksson, Marketing Director at WWF.

H&M and WWF’s previous partnership focused on moving H&M towards best practice on water stewardship.  This work has led to improved water awareness among H&M staff and suppliers and has brought stakeholders from business, civil society and politics together to contribute to more sustainable water management in entire river basins in China and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, a report was recently published*, analyzing the economic risk factors for the apparel industry and the crucial linkage to sustainable water use. In China, the partnership results include an Industrial Park project, where suppliers share resources and improve their water and chemical management. The new partnership includes taking the previous commitments in water to the next level while also expanding into new areas of climate and sustainability strategy.

“This partnership enables H&M to explore future possibilities and address two of our main sustainability challenges, climate and water, in a constructive way. Simultaneously we’re aiming to influence our industry to move in the same direction. The partnership will showcase to other companies that taking on sustainable business practices is fundamental for future business success”, says Pierre Börjesson, Sustainability Business Expert Climate & Water, H&M.

H&M and WWF will continue their work with water stewardship with increased focus on collective action with other companies, policy makers and civil society at chosen river basins in China. On climate, WWF and H&M will work to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in prioritized parts of H&M’s value chain by working with suppliers, customers and policy makers towards a low carbon future. The creation of a strategic dialogue aims to support H&M in the journey to be truly sustainable, moving towards circularity and leading change in the industry.

Efforts in the new partnership will be aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more about the H&M and WWF partnership here.

*”Water Governance in Bangladesh, Challenges and opportunities around policy, institutional function and implementation for a sustainable water future”. Available here: panda.org/Bangladesh


For more information, please contact:
WWF Sweden, Mariann Eriksson, Marketing Director, +46 70 687 33 31, mariann.eriksson@wwf.se
WWF Erika Reje, Media Relations, +46 76 545 40 00, erika.reje@wwf.se

H&M Media Relations, +46 8 796 53 00, mediarelations@hm.com


About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Read more at panda.org.

About H&M
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands & Other Stories, Cheap Monday, COS, Monki and Weekday as well as H&M Home. The H&M Group has more than 3,900 stores in 61 markets including franchise markets. In 2015, sales including VAT were SEK 210 billion and the number of employees is more than 148,000. For further information, visit hm.com.

GLOBAL MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Only press enquiries
Phone: +46 8 796 53 00
Email: mediarelations@hm.com

All other enquiries
H&M switchboard +46 8 796 55 00
Email info@hm.com

Head of Communications
Kristina Stenvinkel
+46 8 796 39 08

Head of Media Relations
Camilla Emilsson Falk
+46 8 796 39 95