25.05.2016

Strategy 2016–2019: Growth strategy to focus on international digital commerce and improvement of the customer experience

Solteq Plc, Stock Exchange Release, 25 May 2016 at 8.00

During the new strategy period, our goal is to develop Solteq into a new size category and focus on the delivery of such services to our clients that will improve their business operations. Our services will help our clients increase their turnover and improve their competitive advantages in the world of globalisation and digitalisation. Multichannel commerce is here to stay, and understanding and meeting the customer in all the channels are important ways of increasing sales and enhancing operations. We will grow domestically by expanding the overall digital commerce offering and internationally by operating in the Nordic countries and with our global clients. We are a visionary expert of multichannel and digital commerce.

Long-term financial targets:

Key figure Target
Minimum average annual increase in turnover 20%
Operating profit % 8%
Net debt / EBITDA < 3.5
Dividend, approx. % of the net profit 30%

The annual increase in turnover will be reached organically by expanding operations in Finland and abroad, and the most significant share of the growth will be reached through mergers and acquisitions.

As to the operating profit, an essential factor will be functional improvement, however, considering the possible effects of growth on the realistic level of the operating profit.

Solteq’s debt-equity ratio will be maintained at a reasonable level, which will allow us to develop operations and utilize our capital in an efficient manner.

The aim of the dividend distribution policy is to pay shareholders about 30% of the net profit annually even during growth.

Growth

Solteq’s growth target is high, realizable and faster than in the previous years. We will strive to focus on growth in the early part of the strategy period. However, we want to maintain our agility even during growth, and therefore we have defined our goal as “growing into the world’s smallest global digital commerce provider”. This means that we will be strong and capable enough to serve our global clients in selected solution areas but we will also maintain the service-mindedness of a small company when we solve our clients’ everyday challenges. We offer expert services that are based on the world’s best business solutions and on the excellent industry expertise of our personnel.

Internationalisation

During the strategy period, most of our growth will come from outside Finland. In terms of internationalisation, we will focus on the following two operating models:

1. Digital commerce has no borders. We will strive to increase the number of global clients and serve them through the existing offices. This is our current operating model with our global clients.

2. Certain digital commerce solutions and services, such as store solutions in multichannel commerce, require local presence in the target country. For the part of these solutions, the target market is the Nordic countries, where our goal is to expand the local network for selected solution areas.

As our international operations expand, we will continue to develop certain operations and concentrate them in our centre of excellence in Poland. Our goal is to improve both the quality and availability of our expertise and our cost-effectiveness to the benefit of our clients.

Exceptional competitive advantage

Our most significant competitive advantage is a solution offering that covers the entire chain of digital commerce. Our solutions help our clients from procurement and supply chain via a genuine multichannel store network to digital online retail. To increase the turnover of our clients and to develop digital commerce, we offer comprehensive solutions for digital marketing and analytics, which form the most essential part of multichannel commerce. In order to reach the customers efficiently through the right channel and at the right time, the utilization of customer data from all the channels is an essential part of decision making.

Our clients include a wide range of B2C and B2B operators that want to be forerunners in digital commerce in their respective industries. Our solution offering allows end-to-end digital commerce from procurement and brick and mortar to online retail for both large international and domestic SME companies.

To our knowledge, we are the only Nordic company today that offers its clients this kind of total solution for commerce. The world continues to change, and we intend to be among the first companies that change with the world, today and in the future.

The business needs of our clients direct the development of our solutions. The capable and skilled Solteqians and M&A activities will enable us to respond to the demand for new solutions and expertise.

M&A Activities

We will develop our services and geographical coverage through smart corporate restructuring in view of our strategy. We see company mergers and acquisitions as essential tools that enable us to serve our international clients in different time zones, to expand our solution offering with required or new urgently needed competencies, and to improve our geographical service performance.

We will carefully consider the cultural and functional compatibility of possible M&A targets with us and our operations. Our intention is to continue ensuring that mergers complement our business operations in a seamless manner.

Our expertise is in our people

The core of Solteq’s strategy - visionary expert of multichannel and digital commerce – is based on the skills and competencies of our experts. As the world and our product portfolio develop, we intend to maintain the competencies of our experts at the top level to ensure that we will hold our lead over our competitors or even grow it. On the other hand, we will have to be able to transform ourselves if necessary to be able to develop our expertise in the direction of our clients’ changing needs. Therefore, we will continue to define personal development paths and by building Solteq Academy. According to our estimate, Solteq Academy will train 50-80 digital commerce experts annually.

Briefing to the media and investors on the strategy

We will organize a briefing to the media and investors on our strategy at Restaurant Kaarre (10th floor) of Sokos Hotel Vaakuna (address: Asema-Aukio 2, 00100 Helsinki) at 11.00 on 25 May 2016.

The presentation will be broadcasted via Periscope starting at 11.30 @SolteqTweets. The presentation will be recorded and it can be seen on Solteq’s web pages during the same day.

For further information:

CEO Repe Harmanen,
Tel +358 400 467 717
e-mail: repe.harmanen@solteq.com

SVP IR and Marketing Kirsi Jalasaho
Tel +358 400 618 415
e-mail: kirsi.jalasaho@solteq.com

Distribution:

NASDAQ OMX Helsinki
Key Media
www.solteq.com

Solteq in Brief

Solteq is a digital commerce expert that provides you with integrated total solutions for multichannel commerce: from back office processes all the way to the purchasing experience of the customer – from supply chain management to digital marketing. Our passion is to deliver the unexpected to our clients – in the fast changing world, you need a partner that can deliver today what you will need tomorrow. We employ about 500 experts in three countries and make deliveries to Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. In 2015, our annual net sales amounted to 68 million euro.

2016