Finnish retailer Kesko said today (24 July) that its second-quarter profits halved as consumers reigned in spending due to the economic downturn.

Second-quarter operating profit fell 50% to EUR42.7m (US$60.7m), despite an EUR6.3m one-time gain from property divestments.

"The smaller year-on-year operating profit ... is due to a weakened demand in the building and home improvement trade, the car and machinery trade, and the home and speciality goods trade," Kesko said.

Kesko said pre-tax profit plummeted to EUR38m, down from EUR81m in the year-ago period.

April-to-June net sales fell 16% to EUR2.1bn, down from EUR2.5bn last year.

"As a result of the weakening of the real economy, the outlook for the near future remains uncertain," Kesko said.

Retaining its full-year outlook, Kesko added it expected its full-year sales and operating profit excluding one-offs to be below those seen last year.