In Brief

Fourlis sees 2007 pretax come to 50 million euros Fourlis, which owns the Greek franchise of Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA, said yesterday it expected profits before taxes to rise to 50 million euros this year. The retailer, which is also a wholesaler of electrical appliances, also said full-year sales are seen at 600 million euros. It posted pretax profits of 47.9 million euros last year. Its sales reached 482 million euros in the same period, with IKEA stores accounting for more than half. Fourlis operates two IKEA stores and plans to add two more in Greece and Cyprus this year. It also aims to expand the IKEA brand to Bulgaria in 2008. The firm also said its shareholders approved yesterday a 0.18-euro-per-share dividend on 2006 earnings, which will trade ex-dividend on July 2. Fourlis has already paid a 0.13 euro interim dividend. Fourlis shares trade at about 26 times estimated 2007 earnings compared with 18 for the European household appliances sector, according to Reuters Estimates. (Reuters) Foreign visitors to Turkey record great rise in May The number of foreigners visiting Turkey rose 19.2 percent year-on-year in May, official data showed yesterday, pointing to higher revenues in the crucial foreign currency earning tourism sector. The Turkish Statistics Institute said the number of foreign visitors rose to 2.29 million in May and for the first five months of the year it rose 16.4 percent. The number of foreigners visiting Turkey fell 6.2 percent to 19.82 million last year as the tourism sector was hit by a bird flu outbreak, bomb attacks and regional instability. But this year growth has been strong, with the number of visitors rising 10.8 percent in April and 19.3 percent in March. (Reuters) Michaniki expansion Listed construction company Michaniki announced yesterday it will add Belarus to the foreign markets it has expanded into, including Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Egypt. Michaniki Belarus, 75 percent owned by Michaniki and 25 percent by Balkan Export, will aim at constructing public and private projects, developing and operating properties and promoting the group’s products. Tofas-Fiat deal Italian carmaker Fiat and its Turkish joint venture Tofas have signed a deal to produce 120,000 light commercial vehicles annually in Turkey, around 70 percent of which will be exported, Tofas said in a statement yesterday. It did not identify the vehicle but newspaper reports this week said the companies would invest 350 million euros in making the new Doblo van model in Turkey. (Reuters) Turkcell ruling upheld Turkey’s top administrative court has upheld a decision which calls on Russia’s Alfa to launch a tender call for minority shares in Turkcell, the stock market regulator said. The decision – which would mean a massive outlay for Alfa to buy out minority shareholders of the $14 billion company – is not final, as one more ruling from the court to cancel the exemption is needed, and that decision can then be taken to appeal, according to the association which launched the case, BORYAD. (Reuters)

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