U.S. Makes Strong Contribution To Ikea Fiscal Gains

In fiscal year 2012 ended August 31, Ikea Group total sales increased by 9.5%, or 7.1% adjusted for currency exchange rate impact, as similarly adjusted comparable store sales grew by 4.6%, the company reported today, with comps in the United States improving by 8%. Net profit increased by 8% to $4.2 billion, the company said, due to higher sales volume and a continued cost focus.

Total U.S. fiscal 2012 sales grew by 11%, according to the retailer.

Ikea said it boosted profits while continuing to lower prices and to improve product quality.

“The Ikea business idea is more relevant than ever,” said Mikael Ohlsson, president and CEO of the Ikea Group. “People around the world are more value conscious and appreciate beautifully designed and functional home furnishing solutions at affordable prices. In fiscal year 2012, we managed to grow in most markets. The markets where we grew the most were China, Russia and Poland, closely followed by the U.S. and Germany. We opened 11 new stores and welcomed 8,000 more co-workers.”

In fiscal year, Ikea U.S. continued to lower prices on some of its best-selling items, including a 22% reduction on the POANG chair and a 25% reduction on the MALM queen bed frame, the company pointed out. The division introduced and expanded services that now include home delivery, picking, picking with delivery, assembly, assembly with delivery and kitchen installation. Ikea said it has been investing in total remodels of the home décor and housewares intensive Marketplace sections in its U.S. stores, completing 13 projects in fiscal 2012. In fiscal 2013, Ikea said it plans to complete 17 more Marketplace remodels.

Company wide, highlights of fiscal 2012, as related by the Ikea, include the launch of a new sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive, which comes with a $1.9 billion investment in renewable energy.  The consequence in the United States is a $150 million investment in Photovoltaic systems that will eventually manifest in 39 of 44 store and non-store locations in the U.S., Ikea stated. In addition, the retailer added  31 electric vehicle-charging stations in the fiscal year at nine Ikea stores in the Western U.S.