Ikea reports growth in annual sales, boosted by China's fastest-growing market

Swedish furniture giant Ikea reported growth in annual sales on Tuesday, boosted mainly by improved performance in China and a recovery in Europe. -- PHOTO: AFP
Swedish furniture giant Ikea reported growth in annual sales on Tuesday, boosted mainly by improved performance in China and a recovery in Europe. -- PHOTO: AFP

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Swedish furniture giant Ikea reported growth in annual sales on Tuesday, boosted mainly by improved performance in China and a recovery in Europe.

Ikea Group, a leader internationally in inexpensive, stylish kit furniture, reported a 5.7 per cent increase in revenue to 28.7 billion euros (S$46.7 billion) for the year to the end of August. In the same period last year, revenue grew by 3.2 per cent.

"China was the fastest-growing market, North America continued to perform well and while the challenging economic situation may not be over, Europe continued to do better," chief executive Peter Agnefjaell said in a statement. "We continue to see positive signs in consumer spending and it's a great joy to report growth in almost all our markets, not least in the challenging markets in Southern Europe."

According to Agnefjaell, Ikea still has a large margin to grow. "We are still small in many markets," he explained.

Ikea Group is headquartered in the Netherlands and owns 315 shops in 27 countries worldwide.

The figures published on Tuesday do not include 40 franchise stores.

Ikea Group is still managed from the Swedish town where it was founded, Aelmhult in southern Sweden, where founder Ingvar Kamprad's three children are part of the management.

As it is still family-owned, Ikea is required to publish only limited information about its results.

The company is expected to publish an annual report in January with its net profit figures.

Not all country divisions of the group publish their figures.

Ikea Sweden reported on Tuesday that its sales grew by 6 per cent in 2013/2014 after falling in the previous two years.