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Retail

German online retailer Zalando to list on the stock exchange

Berlin-based online fashion retailer Zalando has announced plans for an initial public offering (IPO) sometime in the second half of the year. The company had recently broken even for the first time.

Zalando's announcement on Wedensday did not set an exact date for its flotation, saying only that the IPO would "depend on the market environment."

"Listing on the stock exchange is the next logical step for us," Zalando board member Rubin Ritter said. "It gives us the necessary flexibility to pursue our long-term growth ambitions."

The company, which started as a shoe retailer and now sells in 15 countries, plans to float 10 percent to 11 percent of new shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Zalando's shareholders are to keep their shares of the Berlin start-up.

If successful, it would be Germany's biggest Internet IPO since the collapse of the Neuer Markt technology stocks index in the early 2000s and Germany's first big e-commerce listing.

Berlin's start-up scene

In the first half of the year Zalando, which makes 60 percent of its turnover and profits in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, broke even for the first time and posted a small operating profit.

Zalando was founded in 2008 by the three Samwer brothers as part of their Rocket Internet venture, which replicates Silicon Valley business models for non-US markets.

According to official figures released on Tuesday, 45 million Germans shop on the Internet, meaning three out of four web users also shop online. The figures show that the number of people shopping on the Internet in Germany has risen by 30 percent since 2008.

ng/uhe (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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