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Ikea’s Dublin store is the most profitable in Europe

Ikea, had a bumper first year in Ireland, recording sales of more than €2m a week at its Ballymun outlet and an €11.4m profit.

The ‘don’t move, improve’ mantra of many home owners has accounted for the weekly turnover that is the highest of all the Scandinavian giant’s European stores.

Its accounts show that for its first full year in Dublin, Ikea Ireland had revenues of €110.7m, compared with €15.6m in the previous financial year, when it traded for just 36 days after the outlet opened on July 27, 2009. More than 15,500 people visited the store in the weeks after it opened.

According to the directors' report for 2010, Ikea was affected, like many other retailers in Ireland, by the slowdown in the economy. "We continue to invest in our prices in the long term and to improve the shopping standards for our customers, and believe we can further strengthen our position in the market as a value for money retailer during these difficult times," it said.

The banking crisis and its spill into the Irish economy has affected the Irish home furnishing stores with many like Land of Leather, Jim Langan Furniture and Reids all closing down. However a spokesperson for Ikea has said that the company is not adversely concerned about the market:

"These 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," the company said.

Ikea is not planning any new stores in Ireland in the coming year but has a long-term strategy to continue to expand.

The Dublin outlet -- which is equivalent in space to five-and-a-half soccer pitches -- contains 9,000 home furnishings, a 550-seater restaurant, food hall and creche along with 1,850 car parking spaces.

The pre-tax profit last year of €11.4m compared to a pre-tax loss of €8.3m in its first year, which was related to start-up costs.

The figures show that the company employed 452 people last year and staff costs totalled €9.4m compared to €4.5m in 2009. Ikea Ireland Ltd's land and building was valued at €78.5m at the end of August last year. Ikea recruited an additional 100 temporary staff to handle the volumes of customers shopping at the 31,500 sq m outlet immediately after it opened in 2009 when some 4,000 people queued to inquire about 280 entry-level jobs at the store.

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