PARIS, April 17 French flooring maker Tarkett
said it was raising prices in Russia, Ukraine and
other CIS countries after toughening economic conditions and
weakening currencies in the region dragged down quarterly sales.
The group posted first-quarter sales of 492.9 million euros
($680.5 million), 5.4 percent lower than a year ago, hit by a
12.3 percent drop in revenue in Russia's former soviet
Currencies in the region have tumbled as tensions soar
between Russia and the West over the fate of Ukraine. The threat
of more sanctions now looms on Moscow as armed pro-Russian
separatists seize buildings in eastern Ukraine.
"In the CIS region we are confident in our ability to offset
currency devaluations with price increases but we remain
cautious on the economic outlook in that region," Tarkett said
in a statement on Thursday.
The company said it had already raised prices in Ukraine,
Kazakhstan and Russia, where they were hiked by 5 percent at the
beginning of the month.
Tarkett said it had performed well in Scandinavia and
central Europe and that southern Europe was starting to rebound.
However, demand remained weak in France as well as in
residential housing in the United States, it said.
($1 = 0.7243 Euros)
(Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by James Regan)