Ikea chief says profit rise shows recovery
Flat-pack furniture giant Ikea said consumer spending is beginning to recover around the world, after reporting record profits.
Net profit at the Swedish company, the world's biggest furniture retailer, was a record €3.3bn (£2.7bn) in the 12 months ending August 2013.
The group repeated its target of doubling global sales to about €50bn (£41bn) by 2020.
"Consumer spending is improving in many countries," Ikea chief executive Peter Agnefjall said. "While the challenging economic situation may not be over, there are positive signs.
"Consumers have more confidence, they have started to buy more," he added at a press conference outside Stockholm.
The comments add to recent signs that shoppers are becoming more optimistic in response to improving economies. Euro-area consumer confidence increased more than economists forecast in January, according to figures released last week.