ECONOMY

Store closures hit Fourlis

Fourlis Holdings, with interests ranging from electric products to household goods to athletic clothing, suffered an 18.5-million-euro loss last year, with results hit by the closure of lossmaking One Way stores and strong competition in the consumer electric product sector. «The year 2002 was a very difficult one for the group,» Vassilis Fourlis, president of the group, said. The consolidated pretax loss last year compared with a profit of 2.5 million euros in 2001. Group gross profits dropped to 144.2 million euros from 152.5 million euros on revenues of 502.7 million euros last year against 462.5 million euros in 2001. A total of 33 One Way stores were closed last year, while another five stores are due to be shut down this year, leaving just three stand-alone operations. Fourlis said One Way outlets would instead be opened in retail chains Kotsovolos and Radio Athinai. It is targeting a total of 62 such shops-within-shops by the end of the year. Fourlis said first-quarter results this year from the four principal subsidiaries showed a recovery is well on the way. Consumer electric goods wholesaler and distributor Fourlis Trade, in which Fourlis holds a 57 percent stake, expects to generate revenues of 88.4 million euros this year, a 32 percent jump from revenues of 66.7 million euros last year. EBITDA last year was 1.9 million euros. Kotsovolos lifted 2002 revenues 1.4 percent to 265 million euros but saw EBITDA fall 3.9 percent to 17.1 million euros. Revenues are forecast to rise to 297.4 million euros this year. Athletic clothing subsidiary Intersport Athletics expects revenues of 24.7 million euros this year against 17.9 million euros in 2002. Five new stores are planned by year-end. House Market which holds the master franchise for Swedish furniture chain IKEA in Greece and Cyprus, reported EBITDA of 4.1 million euros in 2002.