Ikea stores push Fourlis shares significantly higher

Shares in Fourlis Holdings, the Ikea franchise-holder for Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, jumped more than 5 percent on the Athens bourse yesterday after the company announced a 19 percent rise in 2008 profit. Fourlis shares gained 5.04 percent to 5 euros, bringing its market value to about 254 million euros, versus a 1.55 percent retreat on the broader Athens market. Its net income increased to 55.06 million euros last year, from 46.18 million euros in 2007, exceeding market expectations. New stores in Athens and Cyprus operated successfully in 2008, having a positive impact on profitability, the company said late on Tuesday.