VILNIUS - The Walmart of the Baltic States, Lithuania's VP Market, has seen constant growth in annual profits with plans for regional expansion on the horizon.
In their annual profit report, VP Market saw 5.9 percent growth in net profits in 2005, raking in a total of 94.8 million litas (27.5 million euros). Consolidated sales rose by 4.7 percent to 5.2 billion litas over last year. Assets were at 1.7 billion litas, down 7.2 percent from the prior year.
Citing the opening of new stores and the consolidation of its Saulite brand chain into the Maxima network, VP Market Latvia spokesman Ivars Andins announced that sales were up by 26 percent from January 2006. Six new Maxima supermarkets were opened this year in Latvia, three in Riga, and one in Valmiera, Jelgava and Ventspils. The company plans on launching another five to seven stores in Latvia by the end of this year.
VP Market presently operates 105 Maxima stores in Latvia and 30 in Estonia.
Company sales in Estonia were also strong, soaring to 57 percent during the first nine months of this year as compared to the same period in 2005.
"Despite strong competition, we've succeeded in maintaining the role of price leader on the Estonian market as studies by both the Estonian Institute of Economic Research and the media show," Arunas Zimnickas, VP Market's managing director for Estonian operations, stated. "Our summer switch to the Maxima brand name also contributed to good results."
During the third quarter, VP Market opened new Maxima stores in Kohtla-Jarve, Poltsamaa and the Lasnamae district of Tallinn. "We plan to open four more stores this year," the managing director noted.
In Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria and Romania the retail company operates a total of 353 stores whose aggregate turnover (including VAT) in the first nine months of this year reached 1.294 billion euros growing 18 percent from the same period in 2005.
In 2005, VP Market posted 1.4 billion euros in aggregate sales. This year, the company is predicting an increase of 20 percent.
The chain has 353 stores in all: 196 in Lithuania, 105 in Latvia, 30 in Estonia, 13 in Bulgaria and nine in Romania.