Losses at Austrian furniture and electricals retailer Kika more than halved in the first period under Steinhoff’s ownership, according to local reports.

The Austrian financial newspaper Wirtschafts Blatt reported that losses were cut to €12.7m in 2013–14, from over €28m in the period immediately prior.

Its improvement was down to lower costs, with sales inching up by 0.5 per cent to €500.1m.

The South African furniture conglomerate Steinhoff acquired the Kika and Leiner chains — which have combined sales well north of €1bn — back in 2013, and last year launched a major advertising offensive co-promoting both fascia across the Central European markets in which they operate.

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