Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Greece's Fourlis eyes further Balkan expansion in Serbia, Romania, Macedonia

ATHENS (AFX) - Greek home furniture retailer Fourlis said that it is eyeing further expansion for its IKEA store franchise in the Balkans, and is interested in expanding in Serbia, Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Although the new round of expansion is not planned for this year, Serbia seems to be the next market that Fourlis will be targeting after Bulgaria.

Fourlis already plans overseas expansion and on June 19 it signed a contract with InterIKEA for the development of IKEA stores in Bulgaria, and the company plans to open its first store there in 2008.

Meanwhile, Fourlis is also expected to open one more IKEA store in Greece, in Larissa, Patras, Ioannina or Crete within 2007, increasing the number of its local IKEA stores to four.

Broker Piraeus Sigma said that it is keeping its 'outperform' rating on Fourlis, because the company promises significant growth and cash flow generation potential.

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