Ikea profits soar

IKEAStockholm Swedish furniture retailer Ikea’s full-year net profit rose 19.6 per cent to 4.2 billion euros ($A6.0 billion) dollars, the group says, citing growth in both mature and emerging markets.

Total sales measured in euros rose 7.1 per cent to 34.2 billion euros for the 2016 financial year ending in August, the unlisted Ikea Group said.

Its top five markets were Germany, the United States, France, Britain and Sweden, while China was one of its fastest growing markets.

“Growth and profitability give us freedom to choose our own way, the flexibility to move fast and the independence to think and invest long term,” Peter Agnefjall, Ikea Group chief executive, said in a statement on Wednesday.

In the past year Ikea has opened 12 new stores and 19 pick-up and order points worldwide, and in the coming year planned to open its first stores in Serbia and in Hyderabad, India.

The furniture giant registered 783 million visits to its 340 stores in 28 countries during the 12-month period but was also expanding its online offers. In addition, 49 stores are operated by other franchises.

As part of its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint, the company said it was to invest 1 billion euros in sustainable materials. This included forestry and firms involved in recycling, renewable energy and developing biomaterials.

It said 71 per cent of the energy it used in 2016 came from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind farms. Ikea plans to be energy independent by 2020.

AAP

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