Mercator has reported that group net profit for the full year fell 8 per cent during 2008, dropping to €40.7m, although sales jumped 10.8 per cent to hit €2.7bn through the year.
Slovenia's largest retailer said that it expected sales to increase 5 per cent in 2009 to hit €2.8bn with €1bn generated from markets outside of the country, and added that it will invest €11m to subsidise prices and benefit consumers during the economic downturn.
The business environment in 2009 will undoubtedly be very challenging. It is impossible to make any reliable forecast about the development of economic conditions in the region, especially in view of the effects of the global financial crisis, economic slowdown, and shattered macroeconomic stability in the region," said the group's management board president Ziga Debeljak. "Yet, we are fully aware that successful performance in the market is solely our own responsibility."
The group also revealed that its future target markets included Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bulgaria, which it would be entering for the first time in 2009.