Dixons sticks with re­bound­ing Greece

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

LON­DON/PARIS (Reuters) – Dixons, the con­ti­nent’s No 2 elec­tri­cals re­tailer, saw sales at its Greek busi­ness, Kotso­vo­los, rise 3 per­cent in the Novem­ber 1 - Jan­uary 4 pe­riod, driven by its whole­sale busi­ness. How­ever, sales at re­tail stores that have been open for more than a year fell 8 per­cent. “It’s still quite tough in Greece and the mar­ket is still un­der pres­sure. We are be­gin­ning to see some ev­i­dence that it is flat­ten­ing out,” Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Sebastian James told re­porters. “That busi­ness is go­ing to come right.” As spec­u­la­tion swirled in 2012 that Greece could aban­don the euro, Dixons stock­piled se­cu­rity shut­ters to pro­tect its nearly 100 stores in the coun­try. Re­cent data sug­gests the econ-

Ger­man car­rier Air Ber­lin has an­nounced it will in­crease its flights to Greece by 11 per­cent in 2014. Later this year it will start 21 flights per week to Kos and seven to San­torini, and add seven more flights a week to Irak­lio and one more apiece to Ha­nia, Kala­mata, Lesvos, Samos and Zakyn­thos. omy is on the brink of re­cov­er­ing from a six-year re­ces­sion, boosted by a re­bound in tourism and ris­ing in­vest­ment and ex­ports. How­ever, Greek con­sumers’ in­comes have shrunk about 40 per­cent since the cri­sis be­gan and in Athens the mood re­mains gloomy. Many poured into the cap­i­tal’s main shop­ping street at the start of the win­ter sales but few were buy­ing, de­spite 50 per­cent dis­counts. “Peo­ple come, look and leave. They have other pri­or­i­ties,” said Ka­te­rina Graspa, 53, who is strug­gling to keep her house­hold goods shop in busi­ness. Dixons has sold off units in Tur­key and Italy, but plans to stick with Greece as it is the mar­ket leader there, al­though the coun­try ac­counts for a small part of group sales.

Kosovo-IMF.

Kosovo has asked the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund for talks on a new pre­cau­tion­ary pro­gram, but is un­likely to need to draw any funds, the Fund’s Kosovo mis­sion chief said yes­ter­day. A pre­vi­ous 30-month standby deal – Kosovo’s first since it de­clared in­de­pen­dence from Ser­bia in 2008 – came to an end last month. It was worth 107 mil­lion eu­ros. “We take the gov­ern­ment re­quest very se­ri­ously, we will give it the ut­most con­sid­er­a­tion and we are think­ing of a for­mal pro­gram ne­go­ti­at­ing mis­sion in March,” Jac­ques Alain Mini­ane, the newly ap­pointed IMF chief mis­sion for Kosovo, told a news con­fer­ence. “The gov­ern­ment has sig­naled the in­ten­tion for the pro­gram to be pre­cau­tion­ary. At this stage there are no fi­nanc­ing needs, no bud­getary or ex­ter­nal needs that the gov­ern­ment or the state can­not fund on its own,” he said. Mini­ane did not say how much the new deal could be worth but a Kosovo of­fi­cial told Reuters it may be around 100 mil­lion eu­ros.

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