Ikea reports eight per cent profit rise
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STOCKHOLM, Jan 23 AFP
January 23 2013, 9:12PM
Swedish furniture giant Ikea reports an eight per cent rise in full-year net profit.
The company says it is benefiting from cost-conscious consumer behaviour.
Full-year net profit rose to 3.2 billion euros ($A4.06 billion) as revenue rose 9.8 per cent to 27.6 billion euros.
"Customers are getting more and more value conscious," Mikael Ohlsson, chief executive of the Ikea Group, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The economic conditions throughout the world are challenging and have affected people's lives."'
Operating profit was down three per cent as raw material prices rose and the company tried to keep more products in stock by raising inventories.
"To make sure that our customers always find the products they need when shopping at Ikea, inventory levels were kept deliberately high, a step that in turn supported sales," Ohlsson said.
Ikea, the world's biggest furniture retailer, is an unlisted family-owned company.
"Some of the biggest growth was in China, Russia and Poland, but the US and Germany also had significant growth," Ohlsson said.
Europe accounted for 70 per cent of sales, while North America stood for 16 per cent and Russia, Asia and Australia made up the remaining 14 per cent.
The Ikea Group opened 11 new stores in nine countries in the period. At the end of the year, it had a total of 298 stores in 26 countries.
Traffic to its website rose by 21.8 per cent to more than a billion visits.