Ikea reports rising sales as wind turbines surpass store numbers

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Flat pack furniture giant Ikea has posted rising full year sales and revealed that it now owns more wind turbines than stores as it moves a step closer to becoming "energy independent".

The Swedish retailer said group sales for the year to August grew 3.8% to 34.1 billion euro (£30 billion) as 817 million customers walked through its doors.

Ikea also saw 2.1 billion visits to its website and the news comes after the firm unveiled proposals to sell its wares on ecommerce websites such as Amazon to mitigate a decline in store visits.

The group also recently acquired TaskRabbit, a startup that links freelance workers with jobs.

New chief executive Jesper Brodin said: "We will use our stable financial situation to invest in meeting the needs of our customers even better."

As part of "making a positive impact on the climate", Ikea said that following investments in France, Canada and Lithuania, its total number of wind turbines has risen to 415.

"This means Ikea Group now owns more wind turbines than stores and is getting closer to its target to become energy independent by producing as much renewable energy as consumed through operations, by 2020," Ikea said.

Ikea operates 355 stores in 29 countries.

Mr Brodin added that this year the firm will focus on the living room.

"We want to share our deep knowledge on how people live and be an inspirational source for how home furnishing can improve life at home.

"This year, we are putting a spotlight on the living room and have improved the living room area in all our stores and are presenting a wider range of products and smart home furnishing solution," he said.

Ikea UK and Ireland's annual sales will be released later this year.