22.10.2003 09:01

This bulletin has been released by Atria Group plc in connection with today's 
announcement of an invitation to a general meeting of shareholders.

Atria Group plc is seeking opportunities for the further controlled development 
of its domestic and international business operations and thus become an even 
stronger player in the Baltic rim market. For this reason, Atria's Board of 
Directors has decided to propose to a general meeting of shareholders that the 
company increase its share capital by means of a rights issue. In the new issue, 
present owners of Series A and KII shares would be able to subscribe for new 
shares such that shareholders could subscribe for one Series A share for each 
three Series A or KII shares at a price of EUR 5 per share. The share issue is 
intended to raise a maximum of EUR 26.4 million of new shareholders' equity.

Atria was established at the beginning of the 1990s as a combination of three 
regional companies. The company honed itself into competitive shape by carrying 
out restructuring and new investments through which it achieved a firm foothold 
in the domestic market. Thanks to numerous acquisitions, Atria now has a strong 
domestic market position in Sweden and is the largest producer and marketer of 
meat products in the Nordic and Baltic territories.

Atria established a significant foothold outside Finland in 1997 when the 
company acquired Lithells AB in Sweden. The latter company is in the meat 
product, fast food and local wholesale business and has seen strong post-
acquisition growth. Last summer, Lithells AB acquired the business operations of 
Samfood AB, which operates in the Swedish market. The deal included meat 
product, convenience food and fast food businesses that rounded out the 
company's existing operations well. The functions of the companies have now been 
successfully integrated with each other and the Lithells Group will post a good 
financial result this year. The company produces nearly 25% of Sweden's meat 
products and its Sköllersta plant close to Örebro is the largest meat product 
plant in the country. Swedish business functions account for about 40% of the 
Atria Group's turnover. 

This summer, Atria acquired the shares outstanding in UAB Saltuva, a Lithuanian 
meat product company. Its VMK brand is well-known in the country. The company 
was renamed UAB Vilniaus Mesa so that its name would match its brand. The 
company is currently building a new plant that will be completed next spring. 
Substantial investment aid has been received for the plant from the EU's Sapard 
Fund. Atria's objective is to become the most significant meat player in the 
largest of the Baltic markets in the next few years. In all likelihood, this 
will require new acquisitions.

At present, Atria is assessing the opportunities for starting up production 
operations in the western areas of Russia. This potential project would probably 

be carried out in association with a local partner.

This year, Atria's result in Finland has been burdened by the strong global 
overproduction of pork and low price levels. However, thanks to the improvement 
in the results of other business functions and the positive trend in costs, the 
company's result for the first three quarters will be better than in the 
previous year. Full-year earnings are also expected to improve. It is 
anticipated that the "pork cycle" will turn in the first half of next year. As 
Atria is the largest meat processor in Finland, this is of great significance to 
the company. The products sold under the Atria brand only contain meat produced 
in Finland and thus the outcome of the Article 141 negotiations is highly 
significant to the future development of Atria's meat business as well. These 
negotiations concern the continuation of agricultural subsidies for Finnish 
livestock producers and farmers after 2003 based on Article 141 of Finland's EU 
accession treaty.

Last year, the Atria Group's turnover amounted to EUR 707 million and its profit 
before extraordinary items and taxes to EUR 20.4 million. In recent years, Atria 
has distributed about half of its earnings as dividends. The Group's turnover is 
expected to rise to over EUR 800 million this year.

Further information: Seppo Paatelainen, President, tel. +358 400 661 742

Atria Group plc is a forward-looking food processing company that is going 
international at a fast rate. Our brands are Atria, Chick and Duke's as well as 
Sibylla, Lithells and Forssan. In 2003, Atria Group's turnover is expected to 
rise to EUR 800 million, of which Sweden will account for about EUR 350 million. 
We employ 3,900 people on average. The largest production companies of the Atria 
Group are Atria Oy, Lithells AB, UAB Vilniaus Mesa and Liha ja Säilyke Oy. Atria 
Group is the biggest company in the meat business in Finland and the largest 
manufacturer of meat products in the Nordic countries and the Baltic area. 


Seppo Paatelainen


Helsinki Exchanges
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