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Fotex completes sale of Fotex-Ofotért

HAL Holding of the Netherlands has completed the acquisition of a 94.7% stake in eyeglasses and camera shop chain Fotex-Ofotért Optika-Fotó from Hungarian retail chain Fotex, the two companies announced on Friday. Plans for the sale were announced already on November 23,
2005. Fotex-Ofotert has 102 stores in Hungary, including 12 stores operated as franchisees, 16 stores in Poland and 12 stores in the Czech Republic. Fotex-Ofotert had consolidated revenue of EUR 34 mln (about Ft 8.5bln) last year, according to HAL Holding. The stores employed 720 people. Fotex had consolidated after-tax profits of Ft 126 mln (?0.5 mln) in the first nine months of 2005, a sizeable improvement from losses of Ft 688 mln in the same period a year earlier, the company said in its preliminary report, prepared with International Financial
Reporting Standards (IFRS) and published in November. Fotex recorded
consolidated operating profit of Ft 489 mln, as against operating losses of Ft 674 mln one year earlier. Consolidated net revenue fell 27.9% to Ft 20.58 bln in the first nine months of 2005 from the same period a year earlier. Fotex blamed the fall in turnover in part on its continuing streamlining programme, in which the group closes loss-making and inefficient businesses.