ECONOMY

Jumbo sees H1 sales up 22 percent

Jumbo, Greece’s largest toy retailer, said yesterday it expects a 22 percent rise in sales for its fiscal first half, despite a work stoppage at the country’s main ports late last year. Jumbo said it expects group sales in the six months ended December 31 to increase, even though there were disruptions in supplies due to an eight-week overtime ban by Greek port employees in the final months of 2006. Jumbo, which also sells stationery and seasonal home products, reported sales of -166.8 million in the first six months to December 2005. The retailer said it plans to open two department stores in Greece by July, while its first store in Bulgaria will be completed in October. It has also bought property in Bucharest to set up its first store in Romania. Jumbo, with a 32 percent share of the -850 million Greek toy market, has said it planned to open five department stores in the greater Athens area in the next three years and expand in Bulgaria and Romania. Its shares trade at 17 times estimated 2006 earnings compared with a P/E ratio of 21 for the European leisure products sector, according to Reuters Estimates. Analysts say Jumbo trades at a discount to the sector because it expects lower profits than its European peers. (Reuters)