Toys still sell in hard times

Jumbo, Greece?s biggest toy and baby products company, said sales in the second half of 2010 were steady despite the recession and public transport strikes preventing consumers from getting around during the Christmas season.

Sales for the six-month period were off less than 1 percent, Jumbo said in a bourse filing on Friday.

The retailer, which operates 51 stores in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, said it may soon benefit from the fact that a competitor in northern Greece has filed for protection from its creditors.

Proton Research said the figures show that Jumbo is one of the retailers least affected by the recession with an unleveraged balance sheet.

?Jumbo still manages to mitigate the pressure in revenue generation with a less-than-expected drop in gross margins, which remains impressive,? Proton said in a note.

Its shares ended flat at 5.46 euros on Friday versus a 0.67 percent dip in the broader market.