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Ikea grows but takes cautious approach to China

Ikea, the Swedish retailing giant owned by the Kamprad family, announced on 14 January that its net profit for 2010 had increased by 6.1% year-on-year, but said it plans to expand cautiously in 2011.

In its second-ever public disclosure of financial results, the retail giant announced 2010 revenue growth of 7.7% to €23.1 billion. President and CEO Mikael Ohisson said in a statement: "Profits give us the resources to grow and reach more people on existing and new markets as well as lowering prices. The main part of the profit was re-invested in existing and 12 new stores in order to become even more inspiring and accessible."

The company has said China would be the obvious market to grow its business, but it plans to expand cautiously, as Ikea's secretive founder Ingvar Kamprad told the Financial Times last month. "The potential in China is enormous but there is no rush. We want to make sure we are always doing a good job where we already are before moving on."

Ikea had previously faced trouble in another big emerging market Russia, where two of its senior executives were fired over a bribery issue. Ikea also sees growth potential in South Korea, Serbia and Croatia where it plans on opening new stores.

Founded by Kamprad nearly 70 years ago, Ikea has 280 stores in 26 countries. It made its first public announcement of profits only last year following demands from employees for more transparency. (Continue reading here)

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