Aug 28, 2014
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Greek retailer Folli Follie profit soars on robust Asia

Aug 28, 2014

Greece's biggest jewellery retailer Folli Follie reported a 30 percent rise in first-half core profit, helped by robust growth in its Asian business and a gradual recovery in consumer morale in its crisis-hit home market. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose to 116.5 million euros ($153 million) in the first six months of the year from 89.6 million in the same period last year, the company said on Thursday.


Greece's retail market has shrunk by about 30 percent since its peak in 2008, the year before a debt crisis plunged the economy into a six-year recession, due to austerity measures imposed under a 240 million euro international bailout.

Folli, which sells jewels in more than 28 countries in Europe, Asia and North America, has fared well thanks to its fast-growing Asian operations, accounting for about two thirds of its annual revenue.

Chinese conglomerate Fosun International holds a 13.9 percent stake in Folli, according to Reuters Eikon data. Net profit plunged to 66 million euros from 239.6 million a year ago. Last year's first-half results included a hefty one-off gain from the sale of a 51 percent stake in its domestic duty-free business to Swiss travel retailer Dufry.

Folli's sales rose 10 percent to 479 million euros, helped by improving consumer demand at home where it also sells luxury brands and operates department stores. The Athens-based IOBE think tank expects the economy to grow moderately this year and consumption to rise by 1 percent.

Shares in Folli have gained 26 percent so far this year, outperforming the Athens bourse index which is flat. (1 US dollar = 0.7596 euro)

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