VILNIUS - Apranga, Lithuania's leading clothing retailer, announced it has set up separate subsidiary companies to operate Zara stores in each of the three Baltic countries.
Apranga LT will operate the Zara store in Vilnius, which is set to open in November, while Apranga LV and Apranga Estonia will operate the respective stores in Latvia and Estonia that opened this summer.
The new companies are 100 percent owned by Apranga, which is setting up the chain of Zara stores under a franchise agreement with Spain's Inditex, the owner of the brand.
"Zara stores normally have high sales volumes, and they employ large staffs. That's why separate companies will make the bookkeeping easier," Saulius Bacauskas, Apranga's finance and economics director, said.
He added financial results of the new companies would be incorporated into the group's consolidated financial data.
Apranga, which is owned by the Lithuanian conglomerate MG Baltic, posted sales of 71.9 million litas (20.84 million euros) for the first eight months of this year, a rise of 30.1 percent year-on-year.
In August, its sales soared by 58.3 percent, year-on-year, to 13 million litas.
Apranga currently owns a chain of 36 stores, of which 28 are in Lithuania, seven in Latvia and one in Estonia.
Apranga's pretax earnings reached 1 million litas in the first half of 2004, less than half the profit it reported for the same period a year earlier.
MG Baltic holds a majority stake in Apranga through its investment arm, MG Baltic Investment.