KESKO CORPORATION PRESS RELEASE 30.6.2010 AT 09.30
OOO OMA, a subsidiary of Rautakesko's Lithuanian subsidiary Senukai, opened a building and home improvement department store in the presence of prestigious guests in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, on 28 June 2010. Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorski, Prime Minister of Lithuania Andrius Kubilius and the countries' Ambassadors together with Kesko President and CEO Matti Halmesmaki and Senukai's founder Augustinas Rakauskas performed the opening ceremony.
In his opening speech, Kesko President and CEO Matti Halmesmaki told the audience that Kesko is actively expanding its business in Finland and nearby countries. Halmesmaki also said that it is extremely interesting to participate in the development of the distribution of building supplies and related services in Belarus. He believes that this will also increase the country's competitiveness and the welfare of Belarusian people. "The modern store now opening is a concrete representation of this progress," said Halmesmaki.
Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorski said that he values closer business relations and increased connections between Lithuania, Finland and Belarus. He hopes that the investment by Senukai and OOO OMA will lead to further development of trading sector services in Belarus which, for its part, will contribute to a rise in the country's standard of living.
Prime Minister of Lithuania Andrius Kubilius, who estimated that openings of this kind will also encourage other European countries to invest in Belarus, considered cooperation between Lithuanian and Belarusian companies very positive.
The new OOO OMA's store, located on Napoleana Ordi street in Minsk, is a versatile department store offering building, renovation and interior decoration items. The floor area is 8,500 m2 and the store employs a staff of 180. Before the latest addition, OMA already had four stores in Belarus.
Rautakesko operates in eight countries with a total of over 450 building and home improvement stores. Rautakesko's store brands are K-rauta, Rautia, Senukai, Byggmakker and OMA. Rautakesko has so far opened four new building and home improvement stores in 2010. The combined retail sales of Kesko's building and home improvement store chains amounted to nearly ?3.8 billion in 2009.
The Belarusian market for building and home improvement items is valued at ?1.3 billion and the total market in the sector is growing fast. Minsk has around 1.8 million inhabitants. There are 12 universities in Minsk, which is the educational, cultural and economic centre of the country and also an important location for machinery, car, tractor, radio, and tool industries.
Photos of the store can be downloaded at aineistopankki.kesko.fi.
Director Juhani Jarvi, Rautakesko Ltd, tel. +358 1053 20947
Managing Director Mikhail Khamichonak, OOO OMA, (in Russian) tel. +375 29 344 9303
Kesko (www.kesko.fi) is a retail specialist whose stores offer quality to the daily lives of consumers. Kesko has about 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus.
Rautakesko (www.rautakesko.com) is engaged in the building, home improvement and agricultural trade through the K-rauta, Rautia, Byggmakker and Senukai retail chains. Rautakesko manages its chains, combines their purchasing power, arranges efficient logistics, acquires store sites and guarantees strong marketing and development support to the stores. Rautakesko operates in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Russia, and Belarus.