Altex may take into account a reduction of sales in Q1 2009

Altex Romania, the biggest retailer of electronics may revise its sales expectations down 30% in the first three months of next year, due to economic crisis that gripped several sectors of the industry. However, the retailer hopes to see a recovery in the second half of the year.

“Given the current context, we may take into account a 30% shrinkage of sales in January-March interval in the coming year, compared to 2008, due to lower appetite for electronics expressed by Romanians. People will redirect their money towards other sectors than cars, electronics or furniture. The shrinkage will be compensated by the second-half sales”, said Adrian Urda (photo), vice president of Altex.

In the last part of this year, the company reported mounting earnings by 40% whereas Altex representative said the effects of the crisis will be wiped out by the chain expansion.

December sales will gear approximately 16-17% of annual sales, compared to 20% in previous years.
The most affected products, Adrian Urda explained, will be those in high-end arrays, whose sales will fall sharply due to the fact that people will buy products they actually need, taking into account the price rather than the brand.

Altex expects the sales of home appliances to climb to 1.2 billion euros by yearend, up 10% from last year, whereas the sales in first quarter next year will likely undergo a steep downturn.

“Electronics, home appliance and IT&C market will still record a slight growth, and will reach 1.2 billion euros, therefore we will register an advance higher than market average. Compared to this year, we will surely see a clear reduction of sales in the first quarter next year. The entire year will be difficult but the first quarter will be the toughest one. The low consumption will determine our strategy for stocks”, Altex’s representative added.

Altex holds 105,000 sqm retail surface, and the company’s focus will remain on large stores.
“We have closed nearly 20 small stores this year, namely 3-4,000 sqm, but in return, we opened 25,000 sqm, and now, our overall retail surface amounts to 105,000 sqm”, Urda stated.

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