Retail news round-up on January 29, 2014: AO.com eyes £1bn valuation for stock market float, Retail sales in Ireland edge up 0.6% in December, Ikea records 3.1% rise in total sales in 2013.
AO.com eyes £1bn valuation at stock market flotation in London
Online electricals retailer AO.com is targeting a valuation of £1bn at listing on the London Stock Exchange later this year, more than treble the market capitalisation it was hoping to achieve just four months ago. Several investors have told the Financial Times that the retailer is now intending to achieve a £1bn-£1.2bn valuation against the £300m estimated when it hired banking advisers in September. The investors noted that a market capitalisation as high as £1.2bn for AO.com would put the firm on a multiple of about three times annual sales. The latest valuation of AO.com shows the increased interest among institutional investors in retailers with a strong online offering. AO.com’s possible listing will lead to a bumper payday for the group’s founder John Roberts.
Meanwhile, online fashion retailer Boohoo.com is also likely to announce its plan to list in March. According to people familiar with its intentions, the company is targeting about £500m in market capitalisation.
Retail sales in Ireland edge up 0.6% in December
According to Central Statistics Office’s (CSO) provisional figures, retail sales in Ireland inched 0.6% in December to stand 3% higher on the year, Reuters reported. Irish economy is indicating signs of life after increasing more than twice as fast as expected in the third quarter. Ireland is counting on a 1.8% lift in consumer spending this year to spur on economic growth of 2% for 2014 as a whole.
Ikea records 3.1% rise in 2013 total sales
Total sales at home furnishings retailer Ikea jumped 3.1% year-on-year to record €27.9bn (£23bn) in 2013, Herald Scotland reported. The Swedish company’s comparable store sales grew 1.8% for the year. For the 12 months up to August 2013, net profit stood at €3.3bn. Some of the strongest growth was in Russia and China, while an uplift was also seen in North America.