SeeBeyond, the leading global provider of eBI solutions, announced that Korea First Bank has selected its industry-leading eBusiness Integration platform to serve as the foundation for the launch of the bank’s next-generation technology infrastructure. As an early adopter of enterprise application integration (eAI) technology in the Asian financial services sector, Korea First Bank will leverage the SeeBeyond e*Gate Integrator platform to connect its internal legacy systems with numerous systems and applications throughout its more than three hundred branch offices worldwide.

Due to a corporate restructuring prompted by its recent acquisition by Newbridge Capital, Korea First Bank needed a flexible, robust and complete solution to integrate the entire spectrum of its operations. Korea First Bank has selected and is deploying the e*Gate platform to connect new financial terminals with its existing I/T infrastructure to support branch business and enhance the selling of banking products.

“Unlike other banks that have taken the approach of replacing an entire information infrastructure, Korea First Bank has decided on a best-of-breed strategy that enables it to better serve its customers,” said Jay Hyun, Executive Vice President and CIO for Korea First Bank, which was established in 1929 and employs more than 4,500 people worldwide. “After an extensive technological evaluation, we selected SeeBeyond to ensure that we maximize our previous I/T investments by connecting our legacy environment with our new integrated financial terminals.”

By standardizing its operations on the SeeBeyond e*Gate platform, Korea First Bank will be able to link its online transaction processing (OLTP) system, data warehouses and CRM applications with the new financial terminals, enabling the organization to manage its operations through a single point. Korea First Bank, with the assistance of EDS and SeeBeyond, began full-scale system development earlier this year, and has already begun reaping the benefits of the SeeBeyond e*Gate platform.

“SeeBeyond continues to build relationships and expand its reach across vertical industries, such as manufacturing and financial services, within the region,” said Mari Hiromoto, Vice President of Japan and Korea for SeeBeyond. “Korea First Bank is a forward-thinking enterprise that recognized early on the value of a completely integrated, real-time infrastructure. The SeeBeyond e*Gate platform was the obvious choice as it will enable the bank to improve its overall operational efficiency by allowing it to manage business processes in real-time.”

About SeeBeyond

As the leading global provider of eBI(TM) solutions, SeeBeyond (Nasdaq:SBYN) enables the seamless flow of information within and among enterprises in real time. The SeeBeyond eBI Suite offers a rapidly deployable and infinitely scalable infrastructure for seamless application integration, dynamic business-to-business connectivity and robust business processes optimization. SeeBeyond has more than 1,520 customers worldwide, including ABB, ABN Amro, Barnes & Noble.com, Bausch & Lomb, BHP, DuPont, Florida Power & Light, Fluor Daniel, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer and Sprint.

SeeBeyond has global headquarters in Monrovia, Calif. and sales and marketing headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif. Asia Pacific headquarters are located in Sydney, Australia, with SeeBeyond Technology Corporation Japan K.K. operating as its Japanese business entity. For more information, please visit www.seebeyond.com or http://www.seebeyond.co.jp/.



National Processing Company
, a leading provider of merchant credit card processing and a wholly
owned subsidiary of National Processing, Inc., announced the
completion of a direct link to the ATH Network in Puerto Rico, owned and
operated by GM Group, Inc. a subsidiary of Popular, Inc. This direct link
adds another option for NPC merchants to accept the ATH on-line debit card and
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) transactions at the point-of-sale (POS) in
the most cost-effective and reliable manner.

NPC’s full array of software management, authorization and settlement
services allow merchants to take advantage of two of the fastest growing and
most cost-effective payment types at the POS — on-line debit and EBT. NPC’s
debit product features: single sponsorship into the respective networks,
single-point-of-settlement for all transactions, least cost routing of each
transaction, key encryption management, exception processing, and
comprehensive reporting. NPC’s EBT product features: diverse communications
options, single-point-of-settlement for all transactions, comprehensive
reporting, a variety of POS terminal options plus availability of all 41 EBT
state programs.

“We have one of the best on-line debit and EBT products in the industry
and will continue to build direct connections to the various networks,” said
Mark D. Pyke, executive vice president of Merchant Services for NPC. “The
direct connection to ATH provides our merchants with one of the most cost-
effective ways to process these transactions. Consumers in Puerto Rico use
their ATH on-line debit and EBT cards more often than any other form of

“Partnering with NPC through this direct link allows our consumers
increased access to major retailers in the acceptance of ATH debit and EBT
cards,” said Jorge Hernandez, senior vice president of the ATH Network for GM
Group. “NPC has demonstrated a full understanding of the technical and
security requirements surrounding on-line debit and EBT card processing.
Their leadership and reputation is second to none in the merchant processing

About GM Group, Inc.

GM Group, Inc. is the most diversified and complete Information Technology
(IT) services provider in the Caribbean Basin. Founded in 1970, GM Group is
home to more than 700 IT professionals based at its headquarters in San Juan,
Puerto Rico, and offices in Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and
Miami, Florida. Its services portfolio includes Processing Services; Software
Sales; Hardware Sales; Engineering and Systems Integration; Systems
Consulting; Educational Services; Processing of Visa, MasterCard, ATH, and
private label cards; complete Voice, Data, and Video Networking Solutions; and
the only Business Recovery Services center south of the United States. GM
Group also manages and processes ATH, the largest debit POS and ATM Network in
Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica that connects over 2,500 ATM’s
and 60,400 POS terminals.

Since 1999, GM Group has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Popular, Inc.
(Nasdaq: BPOP; BPOPP) ( ), the 29th largest bank holding
company in the United States with assets totaling $32.94 billion.

About National Processing, Inc.

National Processing, Inc. through its wholly owned operating subsidiary,
National Processing Company (NPC(R)) is a leading provider of merchant credit
card processing. National Processing is 86 percent owned by National City
Corporation (NYSE: NCC) ( ), a Cleveland based
$94 billion financial holding company. NPC supports over 600,000 merchant
locations, representing nearly one out of every five Visa(R) and MasterCard(R)
transactions processed nationally. NPC’s card processing solutions offer
superior levels of service and performance and assist merchants in lowering
their total cost of card acceptance through our world-class people, technology
and service. Additional information regarding National Processing can be
obtained at .


EFSC Gets Vaughn

The Electronic Financial Services Council announced that Eric Vaughn has been appointed as the organization’s executive director. The EFSC is a national trade association representing many of the country’s leading financial services and technology companies.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Eric Vaughn join the EFSC as our executive director,” said Steve Morrison, chairman of the EFSC and senior vice president of government and industry relations at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

“Eric brings a wealth of lobbying expertise at the national level as well as trade association management and leadership ability to the EFSC at this important time,” said Morrison. “With Eric on board, we will enhance the EFSC’s focus on modernizing federal laws and regulations affecting the delivery of financial services to consumers. These laws are critical regarding the use of the Internet as a distribution channel for financial services.”

Over the past 18 years, Vaughn has served as an analyst in the Federal Office of Management and Budget, domestic policy advisor in the White House, legislative assistant in the U.S. Senate and as the president of a national alternative energy trade association.

“The EFSC is proud to welcome Eric to the organization,” said Jeremiah S. Buckley, general counsel of the EFSC and partner at Goodwin Procter LLP. “Eric’s tremendous experience and enthusiasm will enable the EFSC to further influence important legislation that positively impacts the electronic delivery of financial services.”

About EFSC

The Electronic Financial Services Council was established in 1999 to promote legislation and regulation designed to enhance the availability and delivery of financial services such as mortgage loans, insurance products, investment products, consumer loans and on-line banking. The EFSC played a leading role in securing passage of last year’s Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act by the U.S. Congress.

EFSC represents the following financial services and technology organizations: Intuit Inc., Wells Fargo, Countrywide Home Loans, GE Capital Mortgage, Microsoft Corporation, Cendant Mortgage, Chase Manhattan Mortgage, Citigroup Mortgage Inc., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GMAC Mortgage Corporation, Lender Services, Inc., Lending Tree, The Principal Financial Group, United Guaranty Insurance, and Esurance, among others.



Terra Lycos, the global Internet network,
and Visa International, Latin America and Caribbean Region, the leading global
payments service, entered into a major multi-faceted alliance to bring Latin
American and Caribbean consumers and businesses the best Internet experience
by providing security, trust and convenience.

The agreement leverages the companies’ well-recognized brands and
extensive global networks to promote the ease and benefits of making secure
on-line purchases. It capitalizes on Terra Lycos extensive reach —
70 percent of the Latin American Internet audience — and Visa’s ubiquitous
on-line acceptance, currently accounting for 93 percent of e-merchants and
55 percent, or US$198 million, of the overall volume of on-line credit card
purchases, as reported in the 2000 Boston Consulting Group study, Online
Retailing in Latin America: Beyond the Storefront.

Terra Lycos will integrate Visa’s e-commerce Secure Transaction Platform
through payment authentication for enhanced consumer protection while shopping
on-line. This Platform assures e-merchants that sales of goods and services
made through Terra will be valid, as the cardholder’s issuer will have
validated and approved the transaction.

This partnership moves beyond traditional online advertising-based
alliances by providing a Secure Transaction Platform, comprehensive marketing
program, consumer awareness and a wide range of benefits for Visa cardholders
and Terra users.


Diebold Nabs Krakora

Diebold, Incorporated announced that Kevin J. Krakora has been named vice president and corporate controller. Krakora will play an integral role in developing e- tools for streamlining the company’s financial processes. He will work to implement high-tech financial systems to improve productivity and speed the flow of information within the organization and between Diebold and its customers. He reports directly to Gregory T. Geswein, the company’s senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Prior to joining Diebold, Krakora was senior vice president and chief financial officer at TelTek, Inc. in Atlanta, a privately held company that produces electrical power distribution products and public telephone enclosures. Other previous experience includes vice president, controller with Alumax Inc., a public international manufacturer of aluminum products in Atlanta; vice president and controller of the customer service and support division at Emerson Electric Company in Columbus, Ohio; and various positions at Price Waterhouse in Cleveland. He received a master’s degree in business administration from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College in New York. Krakora will be relocating to the Canton area from Atlanta.

Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery systems and services. Diebold employs more than 11,000 associates with representation in more than 80 countries worldwide and headquarters in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.7 billion in 2000 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘DBD.’ For more information, visit the company’s Web site at .



Euronet Worldwide, Inc., a leading provider of secure electronic
financial transaction solutions, announced a multiyear POS (point-of-sale)
outsourcing agreement with Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d., which was voted the
best bank in Croatia in year 2000 by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
Raiffeisenbank will combine Euronet’s POS Outsourcing and Euronet
Integrated Merchant Management software to enhance their corporate banking
program. After a successful implementation of debit and credit card
services for consumers, the Bank is expanding into card services for
corporate clients, such as merchants and retailers. These new services are
incremental and will leverage the Euronet systems already installed at the
Bank, including Euronet Integrated Transaction Management middleware.
Leveraging these applications, significantly reduces the time and costs
associated with implementing a comprehensive POS outsourcing program.
“This outsourcing project is enabling Raiffeisenbank to meet the
needs of our corporate clients and the ever increasing card market,” said
Zdenko Adrovic, Raiffeisenbank President of the Management Board. “Based on
our experiences with Euronet, I am confident that this project will be
quickly and smoothly integrated with our ATM and Visa/Europay outsourcing

Euronet has provided ATM outsourcing for Raiffeisenbank since 1998
and currently operates 80 ATMs at Bank’s 16 branches and off-site locations
across Croatia.

“Raiffeisenbank is a great partner that understands the benefit of
outsourcing to us so they can focus on their core business of banking,”
said Michael Brown, Chairman and CEO of Euronet Worldwide. “Raiffeisenbank
is positioned now to take advantage of some of our value-added POS
outsourcing options, such as POS Recharge for increasing prepaid mobile
phone minutes from a POS device. POS Recharge is beneficial to the
financial institution, the retailer, the mobile phone operator and
ultimately the customer.”

Euronet’s outsourcing offers solutions for multiple touchpoints such
as ATMs, POS devices, mobile phones and the Internet. Programs include
debit and credit card processing, prepaid mobile phone recharge services,
electronic bill presentment and payment and web-enabled ATM applications.
“Analysts have forecasted that European financial institutions will
spend $91 billion on outsourcing in the next two years,” said Brown, “and
Euronet is uniquely positioned to address the comprehensive outsourcing
needs of our clients. We have the experience, the technology, the
personnel, the drive and the integrity to offer unparalleled advantages to
our clients.”

About Euronet Worldwide

Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in providing secure
electronic financial transaction solutions. The company offers financial
payment middleware, financial network gateways, outsourcing and consulting
services to financial institutions and mobile operators. These solutions
enable their customers to access personal financial information and perform
secure financial transactions — any time, any place. The company has
processing centers located in the United States, Europe and Asia, and owns
and operates the largest independent ATM network in Europe. Euronet was
recently ranked number two on the Deloitte & Touche Technical Fast 500, a
ranking of the fastest growing technology companies in North America. With
corporate headquarters in Leawood, Kansas, USA, and European headquarters
in Budapest, Hungary, Euronet serves more than 200 clients in 60 countries.
Visit our web site at www.euronetworldwide.com.

About Raiffeisenbank

Seven years of Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d. Zagreb (RBA) presence on
the Croatian market are characterised by continuous investment in
development and improvement of its service, as well as expansion of its
business network. Numerous Croatian and foreign awards — among them the
most prestigious being one from Euromoney and one from Central European for
The best foreign bank in Croatia in the last four years — provide an
additional stimulus in RBA’s efforts to expand its business activities by
introducing new services; especially now after receiving the “Zlatna kuna
Award” of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for the best bank in Croatia in
2000. Raiffeisenbank Austria d.d is a member of the RZB Group, winner of
The Banker’s “Bank of the Year 2001,” with long-term business strategy in
Central and Eastern Europe. For more information, visit our web site at


Household Expands Board

Household International , the $101 billion (managed assets) consumer lender, announced that Larree Renda has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Her appointment expands Household’s board to 16 members.

Ms. Renda, 43, is an executive vice president of Safeway Inc., one of the largest food and drug chains in North America. Safeway is based in Pleasanton, Calif., and operates more than 1,750 Safeway stores across the U.S. and Canada. As an executive vice president of Safeway, Ms. Renda’s responsibilities include retail operations, labor relations, human resources, public affairs, government relations, corporate communications, reengineering, and the company’s acquisition transition function.

“With Larree’s extensive management experience, we welcome her counsel and advice as our newest board member,” said William F. Aldinger, chairman and CEO, Household International. “We are delighted to have an executive of her caliber join our company’s leadership team.”

Ms. Renda also brings considerable acquisition and integration experience. She played a key role in Safeway’s acquisition of five grocery chains over the past five years. She is also credited, along with Safeway CEO Steve Burd, for creating and executing a customer service culture at the company that is widely regarded as the gold standard in the retail grocery industry. Ms. Renda has been with Safeway for 27 years.

Ms. Renda also sits on the board of directors of Casa Ley, SA., which operates food and general merchandise stores in western Mexico. Safeway holds a 49 percent interest in Casa Ley. She is also a trustee and member of the Joint Labor Management Committee of the retail food industry.

About Household

Household’s businesses are leading providers of consumer loan, credit card, auto finance and credit insurance products in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. In the United States, Household’s largest business, founded in 1878, operates under the two oldest and most widely recognized names in consumer finance-HFC and Beneficial. Household is also one of the nation’s largest issuers of private-label and general purpose credit cards, including the GM Card and the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus card. For more information, visit the company’s web site at .



Electronic commerce and payments leader
First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) today announced it has selected Kozo Watanabe,
48, as managing director responsible for overseeing First Data’s role in
Nihon Card Processing Co. Ltd. (NICAP) ? the first company in Japan to
outsource credit card processing services. NICAP, a joint venture company
recently established by First Data and leading Japanese companies NTT DATA,
DC Card, and DCS, began operations in March.

In addition to his managing director role, Watanabe will join NICAP’s
board of directors as representative director and deputy president
effective Oct. 1. NICAP processes approximately 6 million authorizations a
month for DC Card, an affiliate of Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi. Watanabe will
work closely with Takahiro Tamura, president and chief executive officer
for the joint venture, from NTT Data.

“Mr. Watanabe’s broad-based financial services background and knowledge
of the Japanese marketplace will lend tremendous strength to NICAP as it
lays the foundation to decrease costs, increase efficiencies and add
flexibility for Japan’s card issuers,” said Eula Adams, senior executive
vice president, First Data Corp. and head of worldwide card operations.
Since 1997, Watanabe had served as vice president and general manager
for American Express’ Travelers Cheque Group in Japan responsible for its
overall strategic business development. Watanabe has over 25 years’
experience in the financial services industry in business and product
development roles with Sanwa Bank Ltd., Midland Bank Group and Credit
Commercial de France in Tokyo.

NICAP was formed by First Data and NTT DATA, the data processing
subsidiary of Japan’s leading telecommunications company, NTT Corp.; DC
Card, the fourth largest bankcard issuer and acquirer in Japan; and Diamond
Computer Service Co. (DCS), a large-scale information systems provider with
expertise in credit card and finance operations.

First Data Resources processes for nearly 300 million accounts on file
around the world. For more than 30 years, First Data has offered products
and services which enable clients to enhance their portfolio growth,
increase market share, reduce risk and improve profitability.

About First Data

First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, powers
the global economy. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment
services, First Data serves approximately 2.6 million merchant locations,
1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and
more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using
virtually any form of payment. With 27,000 employees worldwide, the company
provides credit, debit, smart card and stored-value card issuing and
merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions;
Western Union® money transfers and money orders; and check processing and
verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom,
Australia, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Germany. Its money transfer agent
network includes approximately 109,000 locations in more than 186 countries
and territories. For more information, please visit the company’s Web site
at www.firstdata.com.


Female Cardholders

Nearly 76.1 million women have or use credit cards, compared with 68.2 million men. With a 50%+ market share it is no surprise that VISA has the most female cardholder’s with a total of 49.9 million female consumers. However it is a big surprise that American Express ranks number five among female account holders. AmEx falls behind not only VISA and MasterCard, but also Sears (22.5 million), J.C. Penney (20.6 million), and Discover (17.9 million). The findings come from a MarketResearch.com/Simmons Market Research Bureau co-branded study released Monday. According to the survey some credit card issuers don’t aggressively pursue women as consumers. For example, though women comprise 48% of the total executive or professional class, Diners Club holds only 49.3% of women cardholders.



Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited announced a new integrated Strategic Plan
designed to extend and accelerate the Corporation’s growth. The plan is
targeted to position Canadian Tire Corporation for achievement of top-quartile
performance among North American retailers in Total Return to Shareholders
over a five-year outlook period (2001-2005).
“We set out to build a roadmap for Canadian Tire’s future that would
deliver increased shareholder value through consistent and superior growth of
key financial measures, and to achieve top-quartile performance among North
American retailers,” said Wayne Sales, president and chief executive officer.
“After undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning and review process
throughout 2001 we have developed a vision for growth and supporting
strategies that are compelling, achievable and financially prudent,” said

To attain top-quartile performance among North American retailers, the
strategic plan has established compounded average annual growth rate (CAGR)
targets over the outlook period of 2001-2005 as follows:

– Revenue growth of greater than 10 per cent

– Comparable store sales growth of 3-4 per cent

– Earnings Per Share (EPS) growth of 12-15 per cent

– Earnings Before Income Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) of
10-15 per cent

– Return on Invested Capital of greater than 10 per cent after tax

Sales noted: “Canadian Tire’s strong track record of success in growing
our businesses provides an excellent foundation to accelerate our performance.
We are the country’s most-shopped retailer and have a network of experienced
Associate Dealers who have a vested interest in the success of their stores
and communities. We have one of the highest volume independent gasoline
station networks in Canada and our financial services business is highly
profitable and growing. In PartSource, we have a unique specialty chain that
extends our leadership in automotive, and we also have one of the top ten
Canadian eCommerce sites, a national automobile club and several other unique
assets such as our real estate portfolio and Canadian Tire ‘Money’ — Canada’s
most recognized loyalty program.”

“Our current portfolio of businesses is very strong and this Strategic
Plan recognizes the inherent strengths we have across our organization as well
as the power of leveraging our core capabilities and unique assets to develop
new businesses,” Sales added.

Canadian Tire’s Strategic Plan focuses on three primary areas of growth,
which are:

– accelerating growth and performance in the core Canadian Tire Retail

– pursuing unexploited growth in the Financial Services, Petroleum and
PartSource businesses; and

– aggressively pursuing new business growth opportunities that leverage
Canadian Tire’s core capabilities and unique assets.

The Corporation has established three distinct strategic business units
led by senior Canadian Tire executives with accountability for implementing
the Strategic Plan within their businesses and for fully leveraging business
synergies across the enterprise.

– Canadian Tire Retail, is led by President Mark Foote. Mark is a
seasoned executive with more than 20 years of retail business
experience. His scope of accountability includes Canadian Tire Retail’s
strategies, tactical marketing and merchandising initiatives for the
store network, the supply chain and Pacific Rim buying offices. He
leads a best-in-class retail team highly focused on driving growth.
– Canadian Tire Financial Services is led by President Tom Gauld. Since
joining Canadian Tire, Tom and his team have transformed Canadian Tire
Financial Services into a growing and very profitable business focused
on Canadian Tire’s brand. He has built a highly capable executive team
with extensive experience in risk management, credit marketing,
technology systems and customer relationship management.
– New Business Development, Petroleum and Partsource is led by Executive
Vice-President, New Business Development Mike Medline, who joined the
Corporation in January from Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. where he was
Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Corporate Development. Mike has a
broad mandate including development of new businesses as well as
operating accountability for Canadian Tire’s Petroleum and PartSource

In addition, Andy Giancamilli has joined the Corporation as Executive
Vice-President, Dealer Operations. Andy brings more than 30 years of retail
operating experience to this position and was most recently President and
Chief Operating Officer of Kmart Corporation in the U.S.
The Corporation believes the Associate Dealer model is a key competitive
strength due to the level of commitment to our success that comes from the
significant investment all Associate Dealers have in Canadian Tire as
shareholders, as well as in their businesses. Associate Dealers have
considerable retail expertise compared to other retail models. The Associate
Dealers and their more than 30,000 store team members, many of whom are also
shareholders, represent the front-line face of Canadian Tire to retail
customers. They are highly motivated and committed to the success of the
organization. The Strategic Planning process identified ways to leverage this
competitive advantage in order to accelerate our growth and performance and to
improve the consistency of the shopping experience across the network. Andy
Giancamilli and his team will be focused on working with our Associate Dealers
to achieve these goals throughout the outlook period.
The Strategic Plan incorporates several initiatives that have been
categorized under the umbrella of “Strategic Imperatives”. These imperatives
and supporting strategies follow:

Strategic Imperative No. 1: Strengthen and accelerate growth and
performance in Canadian Tire’s core retail business

Canadian Tire Retail has significant opportunities to strengthen and
accelerate its growth and performance during the outlook period (2001-2005).
Several initiatives have been targeted to accomplish that goal.

Strategy Initiatives:

– New Format/Next Generation Stores: Canadian Tire’s new-format store
program continues to be a key strategic driver of both comparable store
and total sales growth. The Strategic Plan calls for a total of 40-50
incremental stores over the outlook period, bringing the total retail
network to between 480-490 Canadian Tire Associate Stores. 350-370 of
this number will be new-format stores.

The pace of new store builds will be evaluated on a yearly basis, and
in 2002 approximately 20 new-format stores will open. This pace, while
lower than 2001, is the largest ongoing retail expansion in the
country, and will allow the Corporation to focus investments on higher-
return projects, including focusing on in-filling strategic markets
such as Toronto. Lower investment levels in 2002 for new-format stores
will also provide additional financial flexibility to allow us to
integrate new retail concepts into the new-store format and invest in
other key corporate growth initiatives.

– Customer Values: A series of initiatives have already been introduced
under the “Customer Values” banner to drive customer service
improvement and comparable store sales growth. Focus has been directed
towards the in-stock position in Canadian Tire Retail and programs to
ensure friendly, knowledgeable staff are available to serve customers.
Significant progress has been made in this area, including the
introduction of 160 English and French web-based customer service and
product knowledge learning modules to the more than 30,000 store team
members across Canada.

– Business Simplification: Canadian Tire Retail has identified
significant opportunities to take costs out of corporate and store
operations and to drive comparable store sales growth. For example, up
to 40 per cent of new-format store space is currently allocated to
warehousing products. New initiatives have been planned to determine
optimal ways to reduce the amount of square footage devoted to product
storage in order to convert this space into retail square footage
across the store network. Significant simplification and cost
opportunities exist in areas such as merchandise flow, inventory
management and supply chain ordering processes.

– Concept Renewal: Since 1994 Canadian Tire has embarked on an aggressive
national store expansion program that has to date introduced more than
250 new-format stores into the marketplace. As part of our Strategic
Plan, Canadian Tire Retail will undertake a process of concept renewal
under which new retail approaches and innovations will be introduced.
The Strategic Plan envisions a much broader positioning of the Canadian
Tire brand including new categories of business, services offered
within stores and fundamental merchandising changes. Concept renewal is
a core strategy designed to drive comparable store sales.

– Improving Execution: Several areas of enterprise-wide execution have
been targeted for improvement. Working with our Associate Dealers and
with vendors, the Corporation will be introducing a process of testing
and certifying marketing programs to improve the cost, speed and
consistency of program execution across the store network. Other
initiatives designed to enhance execution include further improvements
in Canadian Tire Retail’s promotion programs, and vendor and category
management processes.

– Auto Service: Canadian Tire enjoys Canada’s largest share of the
automotive aftermarket maintenance and repair market, and has 5,400
service bays representing approximately 11 per cent of the market
total. A series of initiatives has been established in the Auto Service
business, led by Associate Dealers and supported by the Corporation, to
consistently improve the customer experience and grow market share in
line with the scale of our presence in in-bay auto service and to
improve consistent auto service delivery.

– CustomerLink: This initiative is a multi-year program as part of a
supply-chain wide improvement effort that will directly result in mutli-
channel capabilities in a regional replenishment supply chain system,
reducing costs and increasing store service levels. This initiative is
also a key program in ensuring the Corporation’s supply chain capacity
continues to respond to additional growth.

– Canadian Tire Online: The Strategic Plan process reinforced Canadian
Tire Online’s as a key marketing vehicle. Canadian Tire’s web store
www.canadiantire.ca drives synergies between Canadian Tire’s various
businesses, and is one of the country’s top ten eCommerce sites. The
site was upgraded in September 2001 to prepare for the holiday selling
season. Canadian Tire Online will achieve break even performance on an
operating basis in 2002, and continues to drive incremental sales
online and in-store traffic. Canadian Tire will continue to support
growth of this vehicle as part of the Strategic Plan.

Strategic Imperative No. 2: Pursue unexploited growth and profit
opportunities in Financial Services, Petroleum and PartSource

Canadian Tire’s second strategic imperative establishes key growth
initiatives across its Financial Services, Petroleum and PartSource
businesses. Canadian Tire Corporation represents a diversified group of
businesses that enjoy tremendous synergies. Each of these businesses makes
important contributions to the success of Canadian Tire as a whole.
Canadian Tire Financial Services has refocused its operations on core
Canadian Tire-branded products and has built world-class processes and systems
including its call centres and processing platform. Canadian Tire Financial
Services currently contributes approximately one-third of the Corporation’s
annual pre-tax net earnings. As the largest non-bank issuer of MasterCard in
Canada, Canadian Tire Financial Services has extensive experience in credit
card risk management.

Substantially increased earnings and revenues in Canadian Tire Financial
Services are a cornerstone element of our Strategic Plan.

Strategy Initiative:

– Accelerate Options MasterCard Growth: Canadian Tire Financial Services
currently has more than 1.2 million Options MasterCard holders and 3.6
million retail card holders. Options MasterCard customers enjoy use of
the card not only in Canadian Tire stores but also worldwide, where
they can collect Canadian Tire ‘Money’ to shop in Canadian Tire stores,
further driving comparable store sales. Options MasterCard represents
more than one-half of all outstanding receivables.

The Strategic Plan includes accelerated roll-out of Options MasterCard,
allowing Financial Services’ to play a more active role in the $35
billion bank card market. It is anticipated the majority of these new
receivables would be securitized, reducing funding requirements. Other
growth opportunities are also being explored such as warranty and
insurance products to leverage core strengths. Financial Services
enjoys a proven loyalty platform in Canadian Tire ‘Money’, low-cost and
high volume in-store account acquisition and extensive operational and
risk management capabilities. Tender shift to Canadian Tire-branded
credit card products provides attractive returns and additional
synergies with our retail network.

Canadian Tire Petroleum sites enjoy a much higher average volume of
gasoline pumped compared to other gasoline stations driven primarily by brand
recognition and the Canadian Tire ‘Money’ program. As a result, this business
provides strong revenue and earnings contributions as well as providing
significant cross-merchandising opportunities and excellent return on invested

Two key growth initiatives in Canadian Tire’s Petroleum business will be
pursued as part of the Strategic Plan.

Strategy Initiatives:

– New Gas Bars and Re-branding Partnerships: Canadian Tire will continue
to open new gas stations adjacent to its new-format stores, leveraging
existing real estate holdings. In addition, Canadian Tire will explore
partnership opportunities to re-brand lower-volume sites of other
gasoline retailers. Canadian Tire can offer lower-volume sites of other
gasoline retailers competitive advantage by driving higher volumes by
converting these sites to the Canadian Tire brand, offering Canadian
Tire ‘Money’, and operating these sites with our low cost model.

– Car Wash Network: Canadian Tire Petroleum currently operates a network
of 18 car washes. These operations provide excellent return on invested
capital and create the added competitive advantage of providing
customer convenience, cross-merchandising opportunities and fit with
the brand. Canadian Tire will pursue the addition of new car washes
taking advantage of existing real estate holdings wherever possible.

PartSource is a national specialty automotive chain focused on the
wholesale and heavy do-it-yourself markets. PartSource is performing well with
a double-digit increase in comparable store sales year to date. The chain is
comprised of 30 stores and the Corporation expects PartSource to achieve
profitability on an operating income basis in 2002. The pace of growth for the
chain will be based on performance and its ability to compete for capital.

Strategic Imperative No. 3: Develop and explore new business

Canadian Tire Corporation is committed to pursuing new businesses and
growth channels that leverage our core capabilities and unique assets. A
standardized decision-making process has been established to review new
business opportunities, several of which are currently being evaluated as part
of that process.

Examples of business opportunities that will go through this decision-
making process include new formats, acquisitions and joint ventures, strategic
alliances and expansion in markets outside of Canada. All of these potential
new business opportunities must meet stringent operating and financial

The Corporation’s Strategic Plan establishes a set of assessment
parameters under which new business growth initiatives will be rigorously
reviewed in order to proceed. These parameters include, but are not limited,

– Managing risk by employing a staged “test and learn” approach wherever
possible for any new initiative before full roll-out;

– Ensuring that core capabilities and privileged assets are being

– Strictly reviewing the financial potential of each opportunity,
including its ability to drive value-creation, accretiveness to
earnings and synergies with our existing businesses;

– Managing growth prudently by limiting impacts on balance sheet ratios;

– Assessing the impacts on our shareholders and existing businesses.

Strategic Imperative No. 4: Enhancing financial flexibility through
capital and cost productivity

Canadian Tire is committed to managing growth and execution of its
Strategic Plan in a financially prudent and balanced fashion. Several
initiatives will ensure a structure that will maintain a strong balance sheet
and manage impacts on the Corporation’s financial flexibility. These
initiatives include:

– Reducing working capital requirements, including inventory reductions
and other initiatives to further improve receivables and payables

– Reducing capital in new-format stores and improving return on capital
employed, through major process and design enhancements, resulting in
improved comparable store sales growth

– Determining the optimal level of capital expenditures, and prioritizing
investment among those initiatives that provide timely and strong
levels of return on invested capital.

– Whenever possible, pursue new growth initiatives that require minimal
corporate capital support and leverage existing assets and core

– Establishing specific targets for cost reduction and cost productivity

“We are confident our growth vision and strategy for the future will
result in Canadian Tire becoming an elite performer among North American
retailers, and we are committed to achieving this goal in a financially sound
manner that delivers superior returns to shareholders,” said Huw Thomas,
executive vice-president and chief financial officer.
“Our team is energized by the magnitude of the opportunities, the clarity
of our growth roadmap and our ability to become a top-quartile performer while
managing our financial flexibility and strength,” added Sales.


In light of uncertainty in the global marketplace, Canadian Tire wishes
to provide investors with some insight into our current business trends. While
retail sales were somewhat impacted by tragic events in the United States,
they have recovered to normal levels. Based on current trends Canadian Tire
today reaffirms its forecast for an increase in gross operating revenues of
six to eight per cent in 2001 and an increase in consolidated net earnings in
the range of seven to nine per cent, excluding gains from the securitization
of credit charge receivables.

This forecast reflects our financial performance to date and the nature
of our product mix which provides Canadians with essential products and
services. While there is still uncertainty about the future impact of the
extraordinary events in the United States, we are actively monitoring,
managing and adjusting our business initiatives as required in response to the
situation. The Corporation will adjust and communicate any changes to our 2001
forecast if required.

Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSE: CTR.a, CTR) — the country’s
most shopped retailer — offers a unique mix of products and services through
three distinct, yet inter-related businesses. Canadian Tire Retail and the
Associate Dealers together form one of Canada’s best-known and most successful
retailers, offering customers the convenience and leadership of three
specialty stores under one roof — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home
Products. Canadian Tire’s online marketing channel www.canadiantire.ca , offers
Canadians a way to shop online for automotive, sports, leisure and home
products. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages related financial products
and services for retail and petroleum customers, and also markets other value-
added products to our customers. Canadian Tire Petroleum is one of the
country’s largest independent retailers of gasoline, with 203 outlets. With
443 Canadian Tire Associate Stores serving communities nationwide, Canadian
Tire Corporation, Limited and the Associate Dealers together employ more than
38,000 Canadians.


MC Ops Center

MasterCard International yesterday officially opened its new Global Technology & Operations headquarters in the St. Louis area. MasterCard says it processes as many as 26 million authorizations in this facility on a single day, and settles as much as $4 billion on a single day between financial institutions worldwide. The building is a four-wing complex that contains 550,000 square feet of space and is located in O’Fallon, Missouri. There are three wings of office space, as well as a Data Center. The building overlooks a 10-acre lake. MasterCard says its St. Louis payroll is $170 million and covers more than 2200 jobs.