Rautakirja sells restaurant operations
Eurostrada, a subsidiary of the SanomaWSOY Group's Division Rautakirja, sells the operations of its highway service areas to Neste Markkinointi Oy. Neste acquires 21 service areas operating under the Eurostrada and Motorest brands. The combined annual net sales of the units concerned is some EUR 50 million. The highway service areas will transfer to Neste Markkinointi in stages by the end of January 2005. The sale will have a positive impact of some EUR 4 million on the Division's operating profit, of which major part will be recorded in 2005.
- When Rautakirja became a fully owned subsidiary of the media group SanomaWSOY in 2003, restaurant operations were no longer part of the Group's core business. We are now concentrating our activities on our basic operations, in line with our long-term strategy, notes Erkki Järvinen, President of Rautakirja.
The service areas employ nearly 500 persons, who will transfer into the service of the new owner as established members of staff. Seppo Soini, who has headed Eurostrada for 15 years as Managing Director, will also join Neste Markkinointi as Director of Development.
Eurostrada's nine Pizza Hut restaurants will be transferred into Rautakirja's kiosk operations organisation, in order to strengthen the development of the fast-food concept in the kiosk chains.
After the divestment, Rautakirja will have four businesses. Rautakirja is the market leader in Finland in kiosk operations, wholesale distribution of newspapers and magazines, bookstore operations, and movie theatre operations. The company has engaged in a vigorous process of international expansion in recent years, and now operates in the Baltic countries and in the Czech Republic and Romania.