Ikea announces profits for first time, promises to be more open

SWEDISH furniture retailer Ikea has released full-year trading results for the first time announcing net profit increased 11.3 per cent to €2.5bn (£2.2bn) for the year to 31 August.

The store said group sales for 2009 increased by 1.4 per cent to €21.8bn, equivalent to 3.1 per cent growth, despite what it called “difficult” external economic circumstances.

It said while rivals suffered a sharp decline in sales it had benefited from customers searching for cheaper furniture and had opened 15 new stores. Ikea said it also planned to move into new markets, including India.

Group sales so far for this year increased by 7.7 per cent to €23.1bn. Ikea said profits would be announced at a later date.

The retailer’s results are contained within a new leaflet called “Welcome Inside” and it is believed they are part of reforms designed to dispel allegations of secrecy by chief executive Mikael Ohlsson, who took over from Anders Dahlvig last year. Dahlvig had been in charge of Ikea for a decade.

The leaflet added net income fluctuated between 10 and 13 per cent of revenue in the past 10 years. It added figures would be published every year from now on.