Jul 24, 2009
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Kesko second quarter profit halves, outlook gloomy

Jul 24, 2009

HELSINKI, July 24 (Reuters) - Finnish retailer Kesko (KESBV.HE) saw second-quarter earnings halve year-on-year as customers reined in spending, and the firm said its outlook for the next 12 months was gloomy.

Kesko - www.kesko.fi

Kesko's April-June operating profit sank 50 percent to 42.7 million euros ($60.7 million), with the drop cushioned by 6.3 million euros in net one-time gains thanks to property divestments.

A Reuters poll of 10 analysts had called for a profit of 42 million euros.

Net sales slumped 16 percent to 2.1 billion euros.

"The smaller year-on-year operating profit ... is due to a weakened demand in the building and home improvement trade, the car and machinery trade, and the home and speciality goods trade," Kesko said in a statement.

Kesko said that, due to the weak economy, underlying net sales and operating profit would weaken over the next 12 months.

"As a result of the weakening of the real economy, the outlook for the near future remains uncertain," it said.

(Editing by John Stonestreet)

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