Icelandic retail group Baugur has said it plans to pull out of the US and focus its investments in the UK and Scandinavia.
Baugur also reported first-quarter net profit of ISK3.5bn (US$45.3m) for the March to May period, compared to ISK513m a year earlier. Baugur spokeswoman Sara Lind Thorsteinsdottir told Reuters that the improved performance was mainly due to the company’s UK investments.
She added that Baugur’s loss-making US subsidiary, discount retailer Bonus Stores, had decided to sell 214 of its 338 stores in the southeastern US. It is not clear what the company will do with the remaining US stores.
“They (the board of Bonus Stores) are currently in talks with five retail companies to sell all 214 stores or parts of them,” Thorsteinsdottir was quoted by Reuters as saying. A conclusion on the sale is expected within the next two weeks.
“The board of Baugur Group has decided that we will withdraw from operations in the United States and focus on the United Kingdom and Iceland and Scandinavia where we are exploring opportunities,” Thorsteinsdottir said.
Baugur holds a 22.1% stake in Big Food Group, parent of UK frozen food retailer Iceland.