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Media Markt opens first store in Greece

Media Markt

Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH to invest at least EUR 350 million in Greece over next five years

November 24, 2005 -- Media Markt, Europe's leader in consumer electronics retailing, opened its first store in Athens this morning. Media Markt operates in Greece through Argyroupoli, Athens-based Media Saturn Administration SA, which announced that its 6,000-square-metre store in Maroussi was open for business at 8 am today. The Media Markt premises cover the majority (54%) of the brand-new 8,800-square-metre retail development located at 49, Kifissias Avenue, Maroussi. Serving the Attica market with approximately four million consumers, the new Media Markt store and is the first retail outlet in Greece by the German electronics retail giant.

METRO Group

Media Markt and Saturn are managed as two independent retail brands under the umbrella of Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH. Media Markt, a member of Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH (METRO Group), plans to invest at least EUR 350 million in Greece over the next five years, opening up to 20 more stores. Media Mart will be opening its second store in Thessaloniki (to open in spring next year) and a third in the south of Athens, in the suburb of Faliro, not later than summer 2006.

According to Patrick Vogel, General Manager and Chairman of Media Saturn Administration, Media Markt's retail outlet in Maroussi offers more than 120,000 low-priced branded electronic products, a variety of which is unique for the Greek market, in segments such as telecommunication, computers, photo, hi-fi, CD/DVD, mobile telephony and electrical appliances. The company's low operating cost is expected to further lower the profit margins of Media Mart's competitors in the Greek market, which include ATHEX-listed Plaisio Computers SA, P. Kotsovolos SA (Dixons Group), ATHEX-listed Multirama SA and others.

With permanently low prices, the largest assortment in the industry, the latest brand products and an extensive network of its consumer electronics centers Media Markt has succeeded in attaining market leadership well ahead of its competitors. The company is well known for its broad range of services, individual customer service as well as unrivalled pricing of its branded products. Media Markt's first store in Greece has 600 parking spaces and 200 members of staff.

Media Markt stores can be found in over 500 outlets in 12 countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and Portugal, and now in Greece. In Germany alone, Media Markt offers the densest network of consumer electronics centres in the country through a nationwide network of 210 outlets. The company has approximately 40,000 employees and continues to strengthen its market-leading position in Europe.

Media Markt reported fiscal-2004 revenues of EUR 12.21 billion

Breakdown of Media Markt's sales distribution by region (2004)

Breakdown of Media Markt's sales distribution by region (2004)

In 2004, Germany accounted for the majority of Media Mart's sales (58%), followed by Western Europe (37%) and Eastern Europe (5%).

Media-Saturn-Holding is Europe's largest electric goods retailer, with a net revenue of EUR 12.2 billion and a workforce of 32,932 in 2004. The Group operated a network of 503 retail units in 11 European countries in 2004.

Media Markt offers a wide range of some 45,000 items, including telecommunication products, computers, and photo, hi-fi and electrical appliances.

The Metro Group's brand names include well-known household names such as:

  • Metro/Makro Cash & Carry

  • Real

  • Extra

  • Media Markt

  • Saturn

  • Galeria Kaufhof

Media Markt in Greece is managed by Greeks serving Greeks, while the majority of products Media Markt offers in this country are purchased from Greek companies, according to the company.

Babis Vovos in leaseback agreement with Media Markt

On November 10, ATHEX-listed Babis Vovos International Construction SA (BVIC) announced it has received EUR 20 million from Ethniki Leasing SA, a member of Greece's NBG Group. The Athens-based BVIC Group has signed a 12-year sale and leaseback agreement for 54% of the 8,800 square metres of retail development at 49, Kifissias Avenue. The contract covers the 4,758 square metres of retail space and 1,342 square metres of storage space that has been leased to Media Markt for 12 years.

Greek home electrical appliance and electronics market

The Greek home electrical appliance and electronics market stagnated in 2004 after recording a 6.7% growth rate in 2003, with some of the biggest enterprises in the sector reporting losses and an intense lack of liquidity during the year, a report by the Athens-based Hellenic Company of Statistical and Financial Information (Hellastat SA) said on September 16.

The report said the domestic market was rapidly changing with the entry of foreign companies, either directly (Media Markt) or indirectly (Dixons Group PLC of the UK, Europe's leading electrical retailer), a price war and an offer policy to attract consumers, along with shrinking incomes and increased household debt combined with an increased cost of living in the country.

Retail sales rose 0.7% in volume year-on-year in the first six months of 2005.

The report urged a radical restructuring of the retail network, the sale of non-operational assets, re-evaluating the supply chain, while company boards should realistically evaluate survival prospects or seek closer co-operation with other players in the market.

Dixons Group's acquisition of Kotsovolos is accompanied by a programme to renovate retail shops and expand product portfolio. The company reported a loss of EUR 11.52 million over the last 15 months due to accounting changes.

ATHEX-listed Radio A. Korassidis Commercial Enterprises SA and Piraeus-based Elephant SA are facing severe liquidity problems and are in talks with creditors and suppliers to continue operations.

Meanwhile, Expert Purchasing SA, a member of Expert Hellas SA, which is the Greek organisation of Expert International in Greece and holds a significant position in the market, became the major shareholder of ATHEX-listed Ikona Ihos SA (Vision and Sound) in June. Expert holds a minority stake in Thessaloniki-based Ikona Ihos, which is currently operating under the brand name Expert.

INVgr footnotes:

  • France's Fnac entered the Greek market by opening its first bookstore and CD/DVD shop in "The Mall" in Maroussi, one of the largest retail and leisure centres in South-East Europe, on November 25. Fnac operates in Greece through Alimos, Athens-based FMB General Commercial SA.

  • One of the largest crowd-pullers on "The Mall's" opening weekend -- which pulled in some 150,000 visitors -- was the flagship Mega Kotsovolos by Dixons -- the first superstore to open since P. Kotsovolos SA was acquired by Dixons Group. Kotsovolos currently operates 75 stores and is opening three more in Greece.

  • The Maroussi Commercial and Leisure Centre (better known as "The Mall") is named after the upmarket area of Athens in which it is located and is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. The 185,000-m2 building -- of which 90,000 m2 is underground -- represents a EUR-400-million investment and includes parking for 2,000 vehicles. While a shopping mall would not be considered something new in most countries, a mall of this size has been impossible until now in Greece. Behind this lies the fact that shopping malls -- as opponents like to repeat -- are not part of the Greek mentality. Project developer Lamda Development SA, however, got off to a head start. Part of the complex was used for the Olympic Village, including the journalist residences for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

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