Steinhoff Stock Rises to Record After Europe Furniture Boost

Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd., the owner of France’s Conforma furniture chain, rose to a record after full-year profit increased 29 percent, led by improved sales in Europe.

The stock advanced 5.3 percent to 31.83 rand at the close of trading in Johannesburg, the highest price since at least 1998, valuing the company at 58.4 billion rand ($5.8 billion). The stock has advanced 16 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent gain in the 165-member FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index.

Net income for the 12 months ended in June rose to 7.3 billion rand from 5.66 billion rand a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Sales advanced 44 percent to 115.48 billion rand.

“Our continued investments in our European store network have delivered further benefits with market share gains and margin improvement reported in many of the countries where we operate,” Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste said in an e-mailed statement.

Steinhoff, which has 59 percent of its sales outside southern Africa, is boosting growth through acquisitions in Europe. The company said on June 26 it had concluded agreements to acquire Austria’s Kika and Leiner, without disclosing the value of the transaction.

The deal “completes out footprint in central and old Europe,” Jooste said in a phone interview from Johannesburg. “It was something we worked on for nearly three years. It’s a purely cash transaction.”

(Updates with closing share price in second paragraph.)
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