At Nokian Tyres’ Annual General Meeting yesterday, it was decided that shareholders will receive a dividend of €1.45 per share for the financial year ending 31 December 2014. This is the same amount as paid out per share for the 2013 and 2012 financial years. The dividend will be paid to shareholders included in the shareholder list maintained by Euroclear Finland Ltd on the record date of 10 April 2015. The dividend payment date is 23 April 2015.
Few tyre makers depend as heavily on the Russian market as Nokian Tyres, and the Ukraine crisis therefore lefts its mark on the company in the first half of this current financial year. Kim Gran, president and chief operating officer of Nokian Tyres, said the Russia and CIS markets “proved to be more challenging than estimated” in the January to June 2014 period due to the crisis’ escalation, and a “clear drop in sales value” occurred as a consequence. Both unit volumes and sales in the region declined; Nokian’s sales in Russia dropped 31.4 per cent year-on-year between 1 January and 30 June to €230.9 million while sales in the CIS countries plummeted 66.0 per cent to €6.9 million. Combined, the region experienced a 33.3 per cent decrease in sales, to €237.8 million. Most of this decrease in sales value resulted from the weakening of the Russian rouble.
Later this year, Ari Lehtoranta will succeed Kim Gran at the helm of Nokian Tyres. Lehtoranta will join the tyre maker on 1 September and take over as president and CEO on 1 October. He is currently employed by Kone Corporation as executive vice-president, Central and North Europe. Kim Gran will continue in his current positions until 30 September and then use his option to retire. Gran has led the company since 1 September 2000. He will continue to be a member of the Nokian Tyres’ Boad of Directors.