Chinese market to be opened up to Exel
EXEL OYJ RELEASE 13.12.2004 at 11.00 CHINESE MARKET TO BE OPENED UP TO EXEL Exel Oyj signed a contract on 9 December 2004 in Beijing, China with China Institute of Sports Science regarding the establishment of a joint venture in China. Exel is among the first Western companies to apply for permission to set up a joint venture in order to import to China and to market there products manufactured outside of China. The joint venture offers significant growth potential in a new market area to Exel’s Sport division’s products. China Institute of Sports Science (CISS) is a government-run research institute established in 1958 focusing on sport research and the development of health sports in China. The institute’s objective is to promote China’s sports on an international level and to build up people’s overall health and sports. As a government-run institution CISS has a network covering whole China and it plays a significant role in the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and sports in China. Via the joint venture it offers to Exel a channel to a significant market area. Exel’s objective in the Sport division is to focus on the development and marketing of articles for fitness sports such as Nordic Walking poles and products of the Nordic Fitness SportsTM concept. On the other hand, the products of Exel’s Sport division support the objectives of CISS to build up people’s health and exercising. A new law to take effect on 13 December 2004 will permit foreign companies to sell wholesale and retail in China with products imported from abroad. The application process for the establishment of a joint venture is estimated to take from 3 to 4 months, and the joint venture is expected to be in full operation in spring 2005. At the beginning the objective of the joint venture is to market and sell sport products in China, mainly poles for Nordic Walking, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing. Later the product range will be expanded to other products. In the long run the fact that Exel brand will become more well-known in China also supports the profiling of the products of the Industry division. ”We are very pleased with the contract we have signed with China Institute of Sports Science. The population base in China offers the joint venture and thereby Exel’s Sport division’s products significant growth potential. Fitness sports such as walking and mountaineering is rapidly becoming more and more popular in China. Moreover, due to industrialization illnesses such as high cholesterol, heart diseases and obesity have increased dramatically also in China, and fitness sports can be seen as an effective way of fighting against these problems”, Mr. Aki Karihtala, Vice-President of Exel’s Sport division, says. Exel has earlier published having started analyzing the possibilities of starting up production in China. The analyses are progressing, and decisions are expected to be made during the first quarter of 2005. Further information: Mr. Ari Jokelainen, President & CEO, tel. +358 50 590 6750 Mr. Aki Karihtala, Vice-President, tel. +358 50 590 6752 Exel Oyj is a Finnish company specialised in composite technology. The Group’s operations consist of sporting goods and industrial applications. Exel’s best-known products include cross-country and alpine poles, Nordic Walking poles, surfboard masts, floorball clubs and industrial profiles in general. The Group’s six factories are located in Finland, Germany, Belgium and Spain. Over 80% of production is exported. In 2003 the Group’s net sales totalled EUR 57.3 million. Exel personnel numbers 450. Exel’s share is listed on Helsinki Exchanges Main List. Further information: www.exel.net.