DUESSELDORF, March 19 Struggling German
department store retailer Karstadt made another big loss in
2012/13 as sales continued to shrink, a magazine reported on
Karstadt, which was rescued from insolvency in 2010, made a
net loss of 127 million euros ($177 million) on sales of 2.7
billion in the year to Sept. 30, 2013, business monthly Manager
Magazin reported, citing unnamed board sources.
The privately-held group declined to comment on the report.
Sources close to the company have told Reuters they expected
another loss last year while Chairman Stephan Fanderl has
admitted Karstadt is unlikely to return to profit in 2014.
The chain's net loss widened to 158 million euros in the
2011/2012 financial year from 20.8 million the previous year, on
sales which fell 10 percent to 2.93 billion.
Since Karstadt was taken over by billionaire businessman
Nicolas Berggruen in 2010, it has only published much-delayed
figures in the German Federal Gazette.
However, it did tell employees in a letter in January its
sales had dropped 2.3 percent in the first three months of its
current financial year, a period which included Christmas,
underlining the challenge for former IKEA executive Eva-Lotta
Sjostedt, who took over as new Karstadt boss last month.
Unions and media have accused Berggruen of not investing
enough in the chain, allowing rival Kaufhof to steal market
share, stoking speculation of an eventual merger of the two even
though Kaufhof's owner Metro has ruled it out.
($1 = 0.7188 Euros)
(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; writing by Emma Thomasson;
editing by Keiron Henderson)