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Jelmoli plans to split activities

Jelmoli plans to separate its activities. Pictured is the flagship department store in Zurich Keystone Archive

The Jelmoli retail and service group has announced it plans to split into a retail trading and a real estate group, with unitary shares.

A group statement released on Tuesday said that each existing registered or bearer share as a whole would be replaced with unitary shares: in the new Jelmoli Retail Trading Holding and the new Jelmoli Real Estate Holding.

Group strategy has focussed in recent years on two clearly defined sectors: retail trade (Jelmoli Zurich, Fust, Portable Shop) and real estate (property construction, development and management).

Jelmoli said it was a “logical step” to split the two business. The split meets a long-standing request from the stock market for unitary shares and better investment focussing, and is exclusively for financial strategy reasons, the statement said.

The plans are subject to the approval of shareholders at their annual meeting later this year.

The group described its performance in 2001 as “mixed”. Group operating income before depreciation is expected to match that of 2000, significantly less than the target for the year.

Higher earnings by Fust (household appliances and consumer electronics) Jelmoli Zurich (department store) and Jelmoli Real Estate compensated for a downturn in Portable Shop (notebooks, handhelds and mobile phones) and kitchen/bathroom renovation business.

The statement said that thanks to higher real estate development earnings of around SFr60-70 million ($36-42 million), the financial income setback caused by the stock market decline was “more or less compensated”.

Jelmoli said that group profit for 2001 was expected to match that of 2000 (SFr97.6 million) thus enabling an unchanged dividend.

swissinfo with agencies

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