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Mr Potanin elected as GD of Norilsk Nickel
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Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012
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OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel announced that the meeting of the Board of Directors was held. Resolution on election of the new General Director of the Company was adopted by the Board. The appointment of Mr Vladimir Potanin was approved unanimously. Mr Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, who occupied this position since August 2008, resigned the office.

Board members expressed their gratitude to Vladimir Strzhalkovsky for the years of fruitful cooperation.

After taking the office during 2008 economic downturn, when the Company was forced to report a loss for the year due to adverse market conditions, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky managed to improve its financial condition. Since 2009, the Company has been showing profit consistently, improving its economic performance year after year. Thus, gross profit from metal sales increased by 88.9% by 2011 against 2009 and amounted to USD 8.3 billion. At the same period revenue grew by 64.7% to USD 13.3 billion. The Company was one of the few Russian companies which could overcome the financial downturn without closing operations in Russia, reducing the staff, or turning to the government for financial assistance.

Moreover, the total amount of debt has been reduced almost twice since the end of 2008, down to USD 7.7 billion as at the end of 2011.

An important factor in reducing the cost of metals supply was the development of the Company’s own transportation and logistics system as well as fleet and infrastructure modernization. MMC Norilsk Nickel’s air project represented by its own corporate NordStar Airlines, initiated by Vladimir Strzhalkovsky proved its viability and efficiency, from both social and economic point of view.

The Company proved itself as a reliable investment tool, as dividend policy stipulated in the Company’s Charter was observed.

While Vladimir Strzhalkovsky was in charge of the Company, he managed not only to maintain stable performance indicators and improve the Company’s financial standing, but initiated the implementation of a number of important social projects. Thus, since 2011 the Company has been co-financing long-term target program involving relocation of Norilsk and Dudinka citizens to regions with more favorable natural climatic conditions. In 2011-2020 MMC Norilsk Nickel will invest RUB 8.3 billion in implementation of this program (the total program budget, including funds from the federal budget and the treasury of the Krasnoyarsk Territory amounts to RUB 17.7 bln.). Under this program over 11,000 families will be relocated from Norilsk and Dudinka to the regions with more favorable climatic conditions. The Company has already allocated more than RUB 2 bln. for implementation of this program.

The Company also implements its own housing programs, under which almost 2,000 employees of the Company operations obtained apartments on favorable terms (50% of the property cost was paid by MMC Norilsk Nickel). The Company is also building nursery schools, sports facilities and social infrastructure in the regions of its operation and implements a lot of other social programs. Since 2011, on an annual basis, the Company ensures compensation of travel expenses for employees located in Norilsk Industrial Area and their families to recreation places and back home (previously, under labor legislation, the expenses were compensated once in 2 years). In November 2012 MMC Norilsk Nickel entered into a new collective agreement, securing its social obligations to the employees.

The company confirmed its status as a reliable major taxpayer by filling the budgets of all levels in the regions of its operations.

Mr Vladimir Strzhalkovsky and his team managed to outline a clear strategy of the Company’s future development. In autumn 2011, the Board of Directors of MMC Norilsk Nickel approved the "Strategy of industrial and technical development of the Company until 2025." The company is to join the top five world leaders in terms of market capitalization. To achieve this goal a plan of development both in Russia and abroad was proposed.

In 2012 the Company also launched a large-scale environmental project involving the reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions in the Company’s Polar Division. The construction of two metallurgical shops at Copper Plant and Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant in Norilsk aimed at sulphur recovery from off gases of the Company’s Polar Division’s metallurgical operations will make it possible to capture no less than 95% of sulphur dioxide from off gases. It will contribute to considerable reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.

This project is not the only environmental project of the Company, it is constantly working on the reduction of the environmental stress. Last year only, RUB 16 bln. was invested for these purposes.

Vladimir Strzhalkovsky expressed confidence that the company will pursue its development course.

Source - Norilsk Nickel

(www.steelguru.com)

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