Ikea reports profit boost for 2010

Ikea reports profit boost for 2010
Swedish furniture giant Ikea on Friday reported a significant hike in net profit in 2010 as sales rose, especially in China, Russia and Portugal.

Ikea, an unlisted, family-owned company that does not traditionally release regular earnings reports, said in its annual statement its net profit rose 6.1 percent to €2.7 billion ($3.6 billion) in its 2010 financial year — September 2009 to August 2010.

Global sales meanwhile jumped 7.7 percent to €23.1 billion, Ikea said, adding that its performance had been especially strong in China, Russia and Portugal.

Last year “was a good year for us, with increasing sales despite a tough market situation in many countries,” company president and chief executive Mikael Ohlsson said in a statement.

Ikea’s chief financial officer Sören Hansen agreed, pointing out that the year had been “unpredictable … with the effects of the financial crisis in 2009 still a reality for many of our customers.

“The conditions in our markets ranged from favourable to difficult,” he said in the annual report, adding however that financial year 2010 had “turned out to be a very good year for our retail operations, with growth in most markets.”

The company said its gross margin improved to 46.1 percent from 44.6 percent a year earlier.

During financial year 2010, Ikea said it opened 12 new stores in eight countries, and at the end of August counted a global total of 280 stores in 26 countries.

The company, which has 127,000 employees, said Europe accounted for 79 percent of sales, with North America on 15 percent and the Asia-Australia region the rest.

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