Swiss retailer Valora Holding today [Thursday] reported a 7.6% increase in 2001 turnover to SFr2.63bn (US$1.54bn) from SFr2.45bn in 2000.

Before conversion into Swiss francs, sales were in line with forecasts. However, Valora said sales at its beleaguered Fotolabo photofinishing division slipped 6.2% on "technical changes" in the sector, a sluggish economy and the impact of 11 September.

Going forward, the group expects net profits for 2001 to outperform its earlier forecast of SFr110m. The company confirmed plans to purchase up to 100,000 of its own shares on the open market to contribute to stock plans for employees.