Neither the snow nor the difficult financial situation were good enough to slow down the rapid growth of Jumbo Group. The published financial statements of the first six months pertaining to the year from 1 July 2005 to 31 December 2005, revealed that –for one more year- the client-friendly product mix combined with a wise financial management brought about a new increase in turnover at the rate of 19,62% amounting to €166,8 million and a spectacular increase –after taxes- by 35,26% in profitability reaching €28 million as opposed to €20,7 million in the previous year. Analysts are sure to notice that despite adverse conditions in retail trade Jumbo continues to maintain high margins of operating profitability (as high as 30%) offering its clients at the same time an excellent combination of price and quality for its products. Reports show a significant reduction of administrative expenses from €7,4 million to €5,6 million. The share capital of the Group increased by €3,9 million through the issuance of 4.895.265 new registered shares due to conversion of a bonded loan, the trading of which in the stock exchange had absolutely no impact whatsoever on the upward trend of the share. At the same time long term loans of the Group were reduced by €12 million. Commenting on the results the President and Managing Director of the Group Apostolos Vakakis said: “Figures in the financial statements of the six-month period were higher than the ones forecasted by the management due to special conditions. The Chinese currency was not significantly revaluated, as expected, and as a counterbalance transportation costs were reduced despite the increase in the price of oil. If those conditions remain for the second six-month period of the financial year, there is every reason to expect one more profitable year and a continuation of the upward trend in turnover and profits accordingly. Yet we wish to tell our shareholders, whom we consider partners and not opportunists, that it is only natural that these special conditions which make that exceptional growth of figures of the Group possible, will not remain as favorable forever, considering that we live in an unpredictable international environment as well as the fact that our country goes through rough times struggling for modernization and an equal presence in the European Union.” During the first six-month period of the new year the network of Jumbo stores obtained 4 more new modern stores, in Corfu (in a building owned by the company), in Patra (2nd store), in Alexandroupoli and in N. Ionia, Attica. Today the Group has a strong network of 41 retail sale stores of a total area of 261.350 m². The investments of the Group in the Balkans are steadily progressing in view of the upcoming accession of Bulgaria in the Eurozone, where the first store will operate in Sofia. In the initially planned construction of 12.500 m², 2.500 m² more were added while the Group has already purchased another piece of land in the adjacent country confirming its strong intention to expand in adjacent Balkan countries enhanced by the success of its subsidiary company in Cyprus.