The first quarter of the year will close with an increase in sales for Fourlis, even more so than the corresponding quarter of the “normal” 2019, with the president of the group, Mr. Vassilis Fourlis, expressing the hope that the situation will improve in the coming months.

Despite the unpredictable environment due to the unknown duration of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the intense inflationary pressures, Mr. Fourlis appeared optimistic about 2022, while he said he was excited about the group’s new venture in the health and wellness sector. It is recalled that a few months ago Fourlis announced its strategic partnership with the British Holland & Barrett for the development of a network of 100-120 stores in Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. This is the third commercial activity of the Fourlis group and will be added to those of IKEA and the sports goods (Intersport and The Athlete’s Foot).

The Russian oligarchs

In fact, Mr. Fourlis’s enthusiasm is not dampened even by the fact that Holland & Barrett belongs to the investment group Letter One with the main shareholder being 57-year-old Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman, who is on the list of sanctions imposed by the EU on people very close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As Mr. Fourlis said in yesterday’s teleconference with the analysts, “this is a company over 100 years old, one of the oldest in Britain, which has changed ownership many times”. While he pointed out that it is true that Mr. Fridman is today the main shareholder of the company, however the company not only does not delay its investments but proceeds at full speed with its plans.
Already after the great pressure through social media, Holland & Barrett has taken steps to distance itself from the Russian oligarchs within its administrative team, as the war in Ukraine continues.

Read also: Fourlis – What it plans to do in the health and wellness industry

Letter One acquired Holland & Barrett in 2017 for 77 1.77 billion from the Carlyle Group.

Fridman jointly owned less than 50% of the investment firm Letter One with Russian banker Petr Aven. Their minority stake in the company has been frozen, Holland & Barrett said in a statement.

“As a result, they will no longer have any involvement or influence in the business or its investments. They will not receive dividends, nor will they have communication, economic and financial resources from it, direct and indirect. Their assets in the company have been frozen, they do not have shareholder rights and, if the sanctions are lifted, the Board of Directors has no obligation to

A few days after Fridman and Aven left, three other Russian oligarchs resigned despite not being included in a sanctions list. In fact, one of them, German Khan, said that the situation in Ukraine, where he grew up, is “heartbreaking”.

Fridman, who was the 11th richest man in the UK with an estimated fortune of 11 billion pounds, owns Athlone House, a 65 65 million mansion in Highgate, north London.

Aven, who owns about $ 5.5 billion, owns Ingliston House near Virginia Water and has a collection of works of art that includes works by Larionov, Goncharova and Kandinsky, as well as sculptures by Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore, and Antony Gormley.

However, the Fourlis group has little to no relationship with the markets of Ukraine and Russia in terms of supply chain. Specifically, the Russian market supplies products that represent only 2% of sales and are not “unique” as Mr. Fourlis said, while there is no trade relationship with the Ukrainian market.

Price increases 5-6%

On the front of inflation and supply chain disruption, Fourlis’s management appeared reassuring.

As Mr. Petalas, CEO of the group pointed out, the cost of the increase in commodities was shared, as IKEA International absorbed 50%, resulting in the consumer reaching the lowest possible price increases, on average 5-6%.

Regarding the crisis in the supply chain, according to the management of the Fourlis group, the “footprint” is estimated at about 5% of sales.

In terms of energy costs, this year these will increase by more than 60%. As it was pointed out, while in a “normal” year it reaches 6 – 6.5 million euros, based on current data it is estimated that in 2022 it will reach about 10 million euros.

€ 18 million in rental income

By the end of the year, Trade Estates will have revenues of 18 million euros in rents that it will collect from the properties in which it has invested, Mr. Fourlis pointed out. Among them is the largest commercial park in the country, Florida 1 in Thermi, Thessaloniki, an investment of 36 million euros and the retail park of 15 acres developed by Ten Brinke in Piraeus, which will be operational in three months.

As the president of the group clarified, Trade Estates will not be the real estate arm of Fourlis’ activity but will focus on logistics centers and big boxes with international tenants.

“In 2021, the management team was built and significant acquisitions and investments were made. The value of Trade Estates’ portfolio increased by 100 million euros “, noted Mr. Fourlis, while he pointed out that the Group wants to maintain a share of less than 50% in the company.

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