13 Dec 2010 12:53

IKEA unhappy about Russian-division abuse allegations, but plans to stay

MOSCOW. Dec 13 (Interfax) - Swedish furniture and home furnishings giant has reacted to allegations of unethical activities in its Russian organization and will deal with the situation, but has confidence in the potential of the Russian market.

In the wake of the revelation of a series of problems at LLC IKEA Mos, which is developing the MEGA store chain in Russia, the former management and supervisory council at IKEA initiated in early 2010 a series of inspections and took a close look at how its Russian subsidiary operated, the company said in a statement.

"The documented mess in our Russian shopping center company is completely unacceptable. I have been too optimistic. It is outrageous and deplorable that our plans have gone awry along the way," Kamprad said in a statement issued Friday. "I realize that I have a moral responsibility in this. I am convinced that Ikea can also contribute to a better life for the many people in Russia in the future," he said.

Allegations of unethical business practices prompted IKEA to conduct a serious review of its Russian operations, and the company decided to appoint a new CEO on October 1 this year.

Auditing was done by KPMG, Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Sweco, and Cowi, along with internal checks by the company itself. Premises, licenses, corporate governance, and personnel management were inspected.

"We have great potential in the Russian market and are here to stay. We now need to do our homework and my focus is to build up a strong Ikea Mos from IKEA values," new IKEA Mos CEO Per Wendschlag said in a statement on Friday.