Finnish grocery retail chain Spar Finland, a subsidiary of Swedish food retailer Axfood, has warned that its 2004 operating income will miss its previous forecast due to weak sales growth and restructuring costs.

Operating income in 2004 is now expected to total approximately €1.6m (US$2.1m), compared to a previous forecast of at least €2.9m. Restructuring costs will rise to about €1.2m.

Spar Finland also announced several management changes, taking effect from 1 February 2005. President and CEO Pekka Kosonen will take over responsibility for the operations of the Spar chain. Eija Tahvanainen, currently director of the Spar chain, has been named director of the Eurospar chain. Hannu Harju has been appointed director of business development, and a member of the board of management, with responsibility for major development projects.