Greek toy seller Jumbo's 9-month profit up 44 percent

ATHENS Mon May 26, 2014 10:30am EDT

ATHENS May 26 (Reuters) - Greece's largest toy seller, Jumbo, reported on Monday a 44 percent rise in net profit for the nine months to March, helped by the absence of a one-off impairment in Cyprus that affected the comparable figure from the year before.

Jumbo, which operates 52 stores in Greece and another 14 in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania, said net profit rose to 69.5 million euros ($94.7 million) in the first nine months of its fiscal year from 48.2 million in the comparable period.

Net profit was dented the previous year by a haircut on bank deposits in Cyprus as part of an international bailout of the Mediterranean country. Excluding this one-off item, net profit rose 5.9 percent year-on-year, Jumbo said.

Retail business in Greece has been hit hard by four years of austerity that the country has imposed under its multi-billion EU/IMF bailout. But Jumbo has fared relatively well due to strong performances in its foreign operations.

Last month, Jumbo posted a 7.6 percent rise in sales for the nine-month period to 410.9 million euros. That was higher than the company's forecast for an increase in sales of between four and six percent in the 12 months to June 2014.

A company official said Cyprus and Bulgaria saw a double-digit percentage sales rise. Turnover was also boosted by the launch of the first two stores in Romania last year, Jumbo said.

The retailer stuck to its investment plans, saying it would open another 14 to 16 stores in Romania over the next five years. In Greece, it plans to opens six to eight new stores in the next three to four years.

($1 = 0.7336 Euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Mark Potter)

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