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October 3, 2006

SOK to open its second hotel in St Petersburg

The S Group’s second hotel that is part of the Sokos Hotels chain will open for business in St Petersburg in autumn 2007. Sokos Hotels is also engaged in negotiations for a third hotel site.

Sokos Hotel Olympic Garden will be located in the heart of St Petersburg, right by the Tehnologicheskii Institut metro station. Negotiations are ongoing concerning a third hotel unit in the city centre.

“As a well-established player in the hotel business, we aim to provide services that the Finnish business traveller appreciates. Economic growth is still the word of the day in St Petersburg and business and leisure travel to the city is rising sharply. The mid-range priced Sokos Hotel chain is ideal for St Petersburg’s competitive hotel market, where there is a shortage of quality but suitably priced hotels,” says Matti Pulkki, Senior Vice President, SOK Hotel and Restaurant Division.

The new Sokos Hotel Olympic Garden is being built in the centre of St Petersburg, alongside Moskovskii Prospekt which leads to the airport. Work is already underway on the new building, and it will be ready in autumn 2007.

“The Russian economy is continuing to flourish and St Petersburg is undergoing constant development. New investments are flowing into the city from abroad as well as from Russia. Finnish companies rank third in investments in northwest Russia, which makes for a good deal of business travel from Finland to St Petersburg. As a Finnish hotel chain, we’ll have the added edge of two hotels to provide services that Finnish business travellers rate highly: a Finnish daily newspaper, Finnish TV channels and safe and familiar quality and service while away from home,” says Juhani Järvenpää, SOK Holding Oy’s President and CEO.

The 16,000-m2 Sokos Hotel Olympic Garden will provide 348 rooms, some of them Superior class. There will also be 40 heated parking spaces in the building. Sokos Hotels has signed a long-term rent agreement with Wenaas A/S, the Norwegian company that is developing the site.

“The second floor of the hotel will have 12 meeting facilities of varying sizes, the largest of which will be a hall for 300 people. The hotel and its two restaurants, lobby bar and cosy area with an open fireplace will cater for business professionals and leisure visitors from Finland and elsewhere,” adds Mr Järvenpää.
Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky, the first Sokos hotel, is currently under construction on Vasily Island and it too is scheduled to be ready in autumn 2007. SOK’s subsidiary, SOK Holding Oy, owns Sokos Hotels St Petersburg, the company responsible for hotel business operations in the city.

About Sokos Corporation:
Within SOK Corporation, Sokotel Oy in Finland and AS Sokotel in Estonia operate hotels and restaurants. In March 2006 SOK acquired 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. More information about S Group operating in Finland and Baltic countries: www.s-kanava.fi

For further information
Matti Pulkki, Senior Vice President, SOK Hotel and Restaurant Division SOK
tel. +358 10768 2801, matti.pulkki@sok.fi
Juhani Järvenpää, President and CEO, SOK Holding Oy, tel. +358 50 388 3545,
juhani.jarvenpaa@sok.fi

www.sok.fi


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