STORA's annual general meeting
STORA's Annual General Meeting was held today at the Lugnet Sports Center in Falun, Sweden, with approximately 900 shareholders in attendance. Address by the President and CEO In his address to shareholders, STORA's President and CEO Lars-Åke Helgesson summarized operations in 1995 as follows: "We are through our consolidation phase, in 1995 we achieved perhaps the best-ever earnings in the Group's contemporary history, and we again have a strong financial position." He noted that a vital part of the Group's work during 1995 had been to define and establish STORA's future product strategy for its forest industry operations. "The areas we shall be focusing on are graphic papers, particularly magazine papers, as well as high-quality packaging board. These areas are assessed as having good growth potential, a high degree of value added and they are both mainly based on long fiber. Power, forests and timber and pulp will be key resources for mainly internal deliveries to our industrial units. "The current concentration towards an increasingly streamlined product range makes it important to spread sales over a geographically wide area, thereby reducing our dependence on economic cycles. Cultivation of the markets in North America and Asia will be intensified." Lars-Åke Helgesson also commented on STORA's current program of investments, which during the period 1995-1997 could amount to SEK 17-20 billion. "The investment program can probably be completed without any significant new borrowing - and should such measures be required, we can handle it without jeopardizing our equity/assets ratio goal. When the program has been completed, at the end of 1997, the level of investment will be reduced," said Helgesson. Decisions approved by the Meeting The Annual General Meeting adopted the Board of Directors' proposal that a dividend of SEK 3.75 per share (preceding year: 2.00) be paid for the 1995 fiscal year. April 19, 1996 was approved as the record date. The dividend will be distributed through the Swedish Securities Register Center (VPC AB) on April 26, 1996. The following members of the Board were all reelected: Bo Berggren, Jacob Wallenberg, Claes Dahlbäck, Lars Eggertz, Lars-Åke Helgesson, Palle Marcus, Håkan Mogren, Björn Svedberg, Sven Söderberg and Tom Wachtmeister. Employee representatives on the Board are Roger Karlsson, Ingemar Falk and Ann-Christin Käll (replacing Börje Johansson), with Tommy Nordkvist, Caryl Larsson and Kjell Westin as deputies. The Company's auditors, Caj Nackstad and Olof Herolf and their personal deputies, Sten Lundvall and Lars G. Eklund, respectively, were reelected.