…and the “Jumbo” party continues… For one more year, the results that Jumbo Group published today for the first half of the current financial year, from 1 July 2007 until 31 December 2007, apart from the impressive growth of the turnover and profitability, they confirm that the profit margins not only do not shrink but are improved as a result of the effective management of supplies and all available economic resources. For the first six months, and the most important of the financial year, sales increased by 17.4% to € 238.5m, EBITDA increased by 20.3% to €72.4m while net profits increased by 21.4% to € 48.2m. The gross profit margin improved by 1.2% to 51.5%. The Group delivered these results despite the fact that was deprived of the important turnover of the last Sunday of December 2007 and despite the increased investments that were required for the opening of the two new hyper stores in Sofia of Bulgaria of (total area 15.000 tm) in December as well as the new hyper store in Varibombi. Also, the company was subject to an extraordinary interest bearing taxation concerning the reserve it had formed based on the law 3220/2004 back in 2004. As a consequence the amount of € 1.4m which concerns tax, is included in the after tax results. For the next six months of the current financial year, apart from the international crisis in the markets and the credit crisis that influences immediately not only the consuming behaviour but also the general trade environment, Jumbo informs its shareholders-partners about the possible danger from the ongoing strike (from the beginning of January) in the major harbours of the country that disturbs the imports and the exports of products. The Group’s investment program is executed without problems. Jumbo, target to create a network of 62 hyper stores in eight years period in the countries of the European Union that it is present. The first stage of the strategy includes the expansion in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria while in Romania the Group invests up to today only in land. Regarding Bulgaria, Jumbo aims to create a network of 8-12 stores over a period of eight years. Up to now the Group owns two plots in the Bulgarian capital through its subsidiary in order to develop two new hyper stores in the next two years. The target for the next three years remains the compound annual growth of 15% in terms of sales and profits which implies an increase of 50% up to 2010 for the total Jumbo group.