Finnish retailer Kesko has reduced its target for 2012 profits due to lower consumer confidence and the economic turmoil in Europe.

Worsening consumer sentiment and "disturbances" in the financial market led Kesko to say it now expects operating profit is expected to stay flat.

"The group has changed its future outlook for profitability. Previously, the operating profit excluding non-recurring items was expected to increase during the next twelve months", it said today (26 October). "During the next twelve months, the operating profit excluding non-recurring items is expected to remain at the achieved good level despite significant costs involved in the expansion of the store site network and business operations in Russia." Kesko, however, said its net sales were expected to grow. 

In the third quarter of this year, net sales from Kesko's food retail operations were up 6.4% at EUR1.05bn. However, operating profit excluding non-recurring items was EUR46.4m, down from EUR49.5m in 2010. A year ago, Kesko said its food profits were boosted by EUR6m in revenue from "the transfer of pension insurance portfolio".