Chinese market to be opened up to Exel

EXEL OYJ          RELEASE           13.12.2004 at 11.00        1 (2)


Exel Oyj signed a contract on 9 December 2004 in Beijing, China with
China Institute of Sports Science regarding the establishment of a
joint venture in China. Exel is among the first Western companies to
apply for permission to set up a joint venture in order to import to
China and to market there products manufactured outside of China.

The joint venture offers significant growth potential in a new market
area to Exel’s Sport division’s products. China Institute of Sports
Science (CISS) is a government-run research institute established in
1958 focusing on sport research and the development of health sports
in China. The institute’s objective is to promote China’s sports on an
international level and to build up people’s overall health and

As a government-run institution CISS has a network covering whole
China and it plays a significant role in the promotion of a healthy
lifestyle and sports in China. Via the joint venture it offers to Exel
a channel to a significant market area. Exel’s objective in the Sport
division is to focus on the development and marketing of articles for
fitness sports such as Nordic Walking poles and products of the Nordic
Fitness SportsTM concept. On the other hand, the products of Exel’s
Sport division support the objectives of CISS to build up people’s
health and exercising.

A new law to take effect on 13 December 2004 will permit foreign
companies to sell wholesale and retail in China with products imported
from abroad. The application process for the establishment of a joint
venture is estimated to take from 3 to 4 months, and the joint venture
is expected to be in full operation in spring 2005. At the beginning
the objective of the joint venture is to market and sell sport
products in China, mainly poles for Nordic Walking, cross-country
skiing and Alpine skiing. Later the product range will be expanded to
other products. In the long run the fact that Exel brand will become
more well-known in China also supports the profiling of the products
of the Industry division.

”We are very pleased with the contract we have signed with China
Institute of Sports Science. The population base in China offers the
joint venture and thereby Exel’s Sport division’s products significant
growth potential. Fitness sports such as walking and mountaineering is
rapidly becoming more and more popular in China. Moreover, due to
industrialization illnesses such as high cholesterol, heart diseases
and obesity have increased dramatically also in China, and fitness
sports can be seen as an effective way of fighting against these
problems”, Mr. Aki Karihtala, Vice-President of Exel’s Sport division,

Exel has earlier published having started analyzing the possibilities
of starting up production in China. The analyses are progressing, and
decisions are expected to be made during the first quarter of 2005.

Further information:
Mr. Ari Jokelainen, President & CEO, tel. +358 50 590 6750
Mr. Aki Karihtala, Vice-President, tel. +358 50 590 6752

Exel Oyj is a Finnish company specialised in composite technology. The
Group’s operations consist of sporting goods and industrial
applications. Exel’s best-known products include cross-country and
alpine poles, Nordic Walking poles, surfboard masts, floorball clubs
and industrial profiles in general. The Group’s six factories are
located in Finland, Germany, Belgium and Spain. Over 80% of production
is exported. In 2003 the Group’s net sales totalled EUR 57.3 million.
Exel personnel numbers 450. Exel’s share is listed on Helsinki
Exchanges Main List. Further information: