OREANDA-NEWS. Strong sales growth contributed to making financial year 2016 another profitable year. With the aim of becoming the world’s leading home furnishing multichannel retailer, IKEA Group is expanding and developing new capabilities in in-store and online shopping, to cater for people’s ever changing needs.

China remains one of the fastest growing markets for IKEA Group, while the five largest retail markets based on sales value were Germany, USA, France, UK and Sweden. IKEA Group opened 12 new stores, 19 new format Pick-up and order points and further developed its multichannel distribution network. Work also continued on opening the first IKEA stores in India and Serbia.In addition, IKEA Family became one of the world’s largest membership clubs, reaching 100 million members.

“Growth and profitability give us freedom to choose our own way, the flexibility to move fast and the independence to think and invest long term,” said Peter Agnefj?ll, President and CEO, IKEA Group. “We are in a good place and we have an exciting journey ahead with a strong focus on continuous growth and efficiency in our operations.”

IKEA Group is committed to having a positive impact on people and the planet and has allocated over €3 billion to become resource and energy independent. This includes a financial frame of €1 billion, announced today, to secure a long-term supply of sustainable materials by investing in forestry as well as companies active in recycling, renewable energy development and biomaterial developments. This includes the €1.5 billion invested in wind and solar energy projects since 2009 and €600 million allocated for further investments to become energy independent, producing as much renewable energy as it consumes in its own operations by 2020.

By increasing focus on retail and retail innovation and utilizing existing resources and capabilities, IKEA Group will continue to strengthen its business thereby creating growth that builds value for customers.