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Gorenje Group Returns to Profit, Boosts Sales in 2010

Velenje, 11 March (STA) - The group around household appliances manufacturer Gorenje generated EUR 1.38bn in sales revenues in 2010, up 16.5% year-on-year. Net profit stood at EUR 20m, which compares to a EUR 12.3m loss the group posted in 2009, according to unaudited consolidated results Gorenje released on Friday.

Excluding the results of Sweden's Asko Appliances Group, which was acquired by Gorenje last July, sales revenues were up 11% and net profit stood at EUR 10.77m.

The Gorenje group posted EUR 56.44m in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), which is over three times more than in 2009. Asko excluded, last year's EBIT was up by 240% compared 2009.

The parent company generated EUR 648m in sales revenues, which is EUR 61m more than in 2009. Net profit meanwhile stood at EUR 2.9m as Gorenje bounced back from a EUR 6m loss in the year before.

Chairman Franjo Bobinac said on the occasion that the group's results on key markets last year had been affected by high unemployment rates and foreign currency and payment risks.

Last year's operations were marked by the bankruptcy of two major clients - Germany's Quelle as Gorenje's biggest buyer recently and Croatian retailer Pevec as the biggest partner in the Western Balkans.

The company's growth last year outpaced the average growth of the household appliance market, which stood at 2%. Asko excluded, Gorenje increased its sales by 4.8%.

The environmental, energy and services division operated in the black, boosting sales revenues by 34% compared to 2009. The interior design section meanwhile saw its sales drop by 15.6%.

Gorenje's share on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange finished today's trading down 1.14% at EUR 11.75.

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