• Our Ikea is the most profitable in Europe

    RETAIL giant Ikea recorded bumper profits in Ireland last year, making its Dublin branch one of the most profitable in Europe.
    The Swedish furniture company recorded weekly sales of 2m while generating an annual profit of 11.4m.

    Its latest director's report admits that Ikea was affected by the economic downturn, however it claims that the company will continue to increase its market share.
    The report states: "Ikea was affected, like many other retailers in Ireland, by the slowdown in the economy. The financial services crisis and its spillover into the real economy has adversely affected the Irish retail environment and trading of the company."
    The report concludes that "threats are not considered to be significant, and it is the opinion of the directors that Ikea will continue to gain market share during this slowdown".
    In a further show of its market strength, the furniture giant launched a recent campaign to recruit 32 new workers from August in areas such as sales, customer services and logistics.
    Ikea opened its first ever Irish store in Ballymun in July 2009. The branch employs 452 people, and said that sales for the year amounted to 110.7m.
    The bumper profit means the company's Dublin store is one of its most lucrative branches in Europe.
    The outlet, just off the M50, has proved a massive hit with shoppers.
    In its first week of trading, it drew more than 11,000 shoppers per day.
    At 31,500 square metres -- the size of five-and-a-half football pitches -- it is one of Ikea's flagship outlets, boasting 1,850 car spaces and 9,000 home furnishings.
    Ikea regularly enjoyed large queues of customers following its opening in 2009 and was forced to recruit an additional 100 temporary staff to deal with the volume.
    A whopping 4,000 job seekers visited the store to enquire about its advertised 280 entry level positions.
    The pre-tax profits published yesterday compare to a pre-tax loss last year, which was attributed to high start-up costs.
    The company has been accused by business experts of showing a lack of transparency in relation to its finances.
    The group's founder, Ingvar Kamprad, insisted last month that Ikea had "nothing to hide" after a Swedish television documentary claimed that the company had been set up by a foundation in a way to avoid taxes.

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