SWEDISH furniture giant Ikea said rising consumer spending in many of its key markets had helped it achieve record profits last year and increase its market share.
The world’s largest furniture chain said profits rose by 3.1 per cent to €3.3bn (£2.7bn) in the year to 31 August 2013, driven by strong growth in China and the US.
“While the challenging economic situation may not be over, there are positive signs. Important consumer markets such as the US are coming back and Europe in general is starting to recover,” president and chief executive Peter Agnefjall said.
“Even some of the challenging markets in southern Europe are showing good signs of activity,” he added.
Total sales increased by 3.1 per cent from last year to €27.9bn and the group said it grew its market share in almost all markets.
Ikea did not disclose profits for the UK and Ireland but reported that sales increased by 3.1 per cent to £1.268bn. Its market share grew 0.2 percentage points to 6.4 per cent.
The flat-pack specialist opened its first UK store in Warrington in 1987 and now has 19 sites attracting 41.3m shoppers a year.
UK like-for-like sales from 26 December to 6 January were up by 12 per cent while online sales leapt 60 per cent thanks to ongoing upgrades to its website.