Finland: Many Anttila department stores to close

helsinki-150x150Parent company Kesko has announced that it is to close down one in three Anttila department stores in Finland despite the fact that the company saw an overall rise in profits last year.

In 2013, Kesko saw turnover decrease by 3.8 per cent to 9.3bn euros but, on the up side, profits increased. However, it has grown increasingly concerned by the ongoing poor performance of Finland’s biggest non-food retailer Anttila, finally deciding that closing down many of its branches is the best way to improve results.

About a third of Antilla stores in Finland are set to close, in a move that will leave as many as 2,600 people out of work. It will also shut down many of its rented premises in the next two years in a further move to increase productivity.

The financial crisis led to a fall in consumer demand across Finland, with homeware and hardware stores hit particularly hard. Kesco’s net sales dropped by 3.3 per cent in the homeware and hardware sector in Finland, and by as much as 6.1 per cent in some other countries.

However, operating profit – which does not take non-recurring items into account – increased by around nine million euros to 239m euros in 2013.