ECONOMY

Downturn hits Fourlis sales in 09

Fourlis, the Greek franchisee for furniture maker IKEA, said 2009 net profit dropped 42.6 percent as the global downturn weighed on operations in all of its regions. Fourlis said net profit fell to 31.6 million euros from 55.1 million the previous year. A one-off tax imposed by the government on large firms to boost revenues also weighed on the figure. The firm is proposing a 0.25-euro-per-share dividend on 2009 results, in line with the company’s policy to distribute one-third of its net profit. Group sales dropped 4.2 percent to 751.7 million euros, with revenue from its five IKEA stores in Greece and Cyprus, which account for 80 percent of operating profit, flat at 335 million euros. Fourlis said its electronic goods wholesale business in Romania was also hit by the downturn. Shares in Fourlis slipped 1.41 percent to 7.71 euros on the Athens bourse yesterday versus a 1.77 percent slide in the broader market.