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Eastern European Markets
NEWS RELEASE
March, 27. 2006

Three SOK hotel projects underway in St Petersburg

The S Group’s first hotel in St Petersburg that is part of the Sokos Hotels chain will open for business in summer 2007. Sokotel is also engaged in negotiations for the next two hotel sites. Sokotel’s new hotel will be located in the centre of St Petersburg. Negotiations are ongoing concerning two other hotel units in the city centre.

“Four-star Sokos Hotels are ideal for St Petersburg where there is a lack of quality, mid-range priced hotel accommodation,” says Matti Pulkki, Senior Vice President, SOK Hotel and Restaurant Division. SOK seeks to extend the range of leisure travel services for its customer-owners. The Russian market is growing vigorously, and business and holiday travel to Russia is rising sharply.

“Sokos Hotel Viru was the chain’s first hotel abroad. It has proven to be a thriving investment and it’s successfully achieved our mission to provide services and benefits for our customer-owners. In future, they’ll have an even better choice of where to spend the night in the S Group’s own hotels in the Baltic region,” Mr Pulkki adds.

The new hotel will seek to attract guests who are interested in culture, people on gourmet trips and customer-owners from Finland in search of the sights. The hotel’s target group also includes Finnish and Russian business travellers.

“The St Petersburg’s Sokos Hotel is in a prime location on Vasily Island, opposite St Isaac’s Cathedral. The design was inspired by the island’s historical surroundings,” says Juhani Järvenpää, SOK Holding Oy’s President and CEO.

SOK’s subsidiary, SOK Holding Oy, will own Sokotel St Petersburg, the company responsible for the hotel’s business operations in St Petersburg. The Estonian company Manutent OÜ owns the St Petersburg hotel property and it is responsible for the construction, which got underway in October 2005 and will be completed in summer 2007. The hotel will have 260 rooms, 6 suites, a lobby bar, restaurant, music pub, saunas, small meeting rooms and a garage. According to Märt Vooglaid, Manutent’s President and CEO, the project is on schedule and collaboration between the parties involved is working well. The St Petersburg’s Sokos Hotel will carry out its marketing activities in co-operation with the nearby Holiday Club spa hotel.

About SOK Corporation:
Within SOK Corporation, Sokotel Oy in Finland and AS Sokotel in Estonia operate hotels and restaurants. In March 2006 SOK announced it was buying Holiday Club Finland’s 6 spa hotels in Finland. The S Group’s hotel and restaurant business comprises a comprehensive network of 49 hotels and more than 550 restaurants located around Finland. Of the hotels, 39 belong to the Sokos Hotels chain and 7 to the Radisson SAS chain. Outside Finland, the S Group carries on hotel and restaurant operations in Estonia, where hospitality customers are served by Sokos Hotel Viru with its restaurants and a food court that operates at the Prisma hypermarket in the Sikupilli Shopping Centre. Sokotel Oy’s net turnover in 2005 was EUR 158.3 million. Retail sales by the S Group’s hotel and restaurant trade totalled EUR 635 million, an increase of 2 per cent on the figure a year earlier. Accommodation sales came to EUR 182 million, restaurant sales amounted to EUR 453 million. The S Group’s growth was on a par with the average for the sector, at around the 5 per cent mark. The S Group’s market share measured in terms of net turnover by hotels was 24 per cent. www.s-kanava.fi

For further information:
Matti Pulkki, Senior Vice President, SOK Hotel and Restaurant Division
tel. +358 10 768 2801, mailto:matti.pulkki@sok.fi

Juhani Järvenpää, President and CEO, SOK Holding Oy
tel. +358 400 680 544, juhani.jarvenpaa@sok.fi
Märt Vooglaid, President and CEO, Manutent OÜ
tel. +372 508 3161, mart@manutent.ee

www.sok.fi


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