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Hitt og þetta 15. september 2006

K-rauta chain expands in Russia

RAUTAKESKO LTD PRESS RELEASE 15.09.2006 AT 15.30

Rautakesko expands its operations in Russia by opening a new K-rauta hardware and builders' supplies store on Tallinskoe sh., in St. Petersburg. The large-scale outlet to be opened on Saturday 16 September is the 6th store of the chain in St. Petersburg. The five Stroymaster stores, acquired by Rautakesko last year, have been operating under the K-rauta brand from August 2006.

Rautakesko plans to continue development in Russia by opening more stores that comply with the international K-rauta concept. Another K-rauta store will be opened in St. Petersburg in December. In 2007, two more K-rauta stores will be opened in St. Petersburg at main roads exits from the city. Rautakesko plans to grow the K-rauta network in St. Petersburg to comprise 10-11 stores, while 8-10 outlets will be opened in and around Moscow in the next few years. K-rauta stores will also be established in other big cities.

"Our strength is the combination of international experience, knowledge of the local market and strong competence. We aim to become the leader in Northwest Russia and gain a significant position on the Russian market," says Aleksander Rudenko, General Director of Stroymaster.

The store that is opened tomorrow is the first one complying with the international K-rauta concept and the largest store of the chain by floor area (over 10,000m2). K-rauta offers a wide selection of goods and the best solutions for builders and renovators. An essential part of the K-rauta concept are complete interior solutions that save time and energy of the customers planning renovation. Special emphasis has also been placed on training and competence of K-rauta staff.

K-rauta caters for both retail and professional customers. Wholesale buyers are served by a special department in every store of the chain. Serving building professionals enables K-rauta to keep expanding the store network and offer low prices to all customers.

A photo of the K-rauta in St. Petersburg can be loaded from www.kesko.fi/material "Image archive".

Further information: Mikael Forss, Executive Vice President, Rautakesko Ltd, tel. +358 500 909 005 Ilkka Sinkkonen, Country Manager, Russia, Rautakesko Ltd, tel. + 7 495 7640838

Kesko is the most versatile provider of trading sector services in the Baltic Sea area. In close cooperation with retailers and other partners Kesko produces retail and wholesale services that are highly valued by customers. Kesko operates in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.

Rautakesko Ltd (www.rautakesko.com) is a division parent company of Kesko Corporation and the market leader in the Finnish hardware and builders' supplies sector. Rautakesko's market share in the sector is about 35%. Rautakesko develops the K-rauta and Rautia chains and is responsible for their marketing, purchasing and logistics services, network and retailer resources. Rautakesko operates in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.

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