IKEA sales growth sparks hope of southern European recovery

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IKEA sales growth sparks hope of southern European recovery

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IKEA says its sales grew over the past 12 months as consumer spending and global demand for its products continued to pick up.

The world’s biggest furniture retailer highlighted China – where it opened three new stores this year to tap into the spending power of the country’s rising middle class – but also said there were signs of improvement in recession-hit southern European countries.

“A year ago, it was very difficult for most retailers in southern Europe, as for IKEA, but we now generally see that things are stabilising,” Chief Executive Peter Agnefjall said.

The Swedish company, which has more than 300 stores in 26 countries, saw sales rise nearly six percent, to 28.7 billion euros, double the growth it enjoyed in the previous 12 month period.

Its biggest markets are Germany, the United States and France and it gets almost 70 percent of its sales in Europe.

IKEA will stick with its strategy to expand in Russia despite the Ukraine crisis. “I think it’s fair to say our approach is very long term,” Agnefjall said.

with Reuters