24 Jan 2013

Ikea profit up 8%

8:02 am on 24 January 2013

Ikea, the Swedish furniture group, reports a rise of 8% 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 as revenue rose 9.8% to 27.6 billion euros.

"Customers are getting more and more value conscious," said chief executive Mikael Ohlsson said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The economic conditions throughout the world are challenging and have affected people's lives."

AAP reports operating profit was down 3% as raw material prices rose and the company tried to keep more products in stock by raising inventories.

''Inventory levels were kept deliberately high, a step that in turn supported sales," Mr Ohlsson said.

"Some of the biggest growth was in China, Russia and Poland, but the United States and Germany also had significant growth," Ohlsson said.

Europe accounted for 70% of sales, while North America stood for 16% and Russia, Asia and Australia made up the remaining 14%.

Ikea 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.