Financial statements release 2008 (5 February 2009)
Estimates of the future outlook for the Kesko Group's net sales and operating profit excluding non-recurring items are given for the 12 months following the reporting period (1/2009-12/2009) in comparison with the 12 months preceding the reporting period (1/2008-12/2008).
The development of the Group's operating activities is affected by the economic outlook in its different market areas and especially by the growth rate of private consumption. During the past months, the economic outlook has continued to weaken as a result of the aggravated problems in the financial market and the contraction in the real economy. Private consumer demand is expected to decelerate in the Nordic and Baltic countries owing to lower levels of consumer confidence and higher levels of saving. It is also expected that difficulties in the availability of financing will weaken the demand of businesses and consumers.
The steady development in the food trade is expected to continue. Market development is expected to weaken especially in the construction sector, the car and machinery trade, and the home and speciality goods trade.
The increasing uncertainty about the economic outlook makes any statement about the Group's future outlook significantly more difficult. In consequence of the weakening economic development, the Kesko Group's net sales and operating profit excluding non-recurring items from continuing operations in 2009 are expected to remain at a lower level compared with the net sales and operating profit excluding non-recurring items of 2008. The Group's liquidity and solvency are expected to remain strong.