CZ Retail a.s., the Czech company founded jointly by Rautakirja and the French enterprise Hachette Distribution Services SA (HDS) in late 2002, has now acquired the Amadeo kiosk chain. The chain comprises 11 kiosks in good commercial sites, mainly in the Czech capital Prague.

Rautakirja and HDS embarked on cooperation in the kiosk trade in the Czech Republic in December of last year, with the launch of the jointly- and equally-owned CZ Retail a.s. At the time of the new ownership arrangements, the enterprise had a total of 113 kiosks, of which 4 were R-Kiosks.

- The Amadeo acquisition is a significant step in the strengthening of our market position, since we have taken on new outlets at busy public transport hubs and in excellent street locations, comments Rautakirja President and CEO Erkki Järvinen. Järvinen states further that the objective in the next few years is to increase the net sales of the Czech company by a factor of three and to double the number of kiosks.

Four of the newly-acquired kiosks are located at Prague metro stations, one at a railway station, and six are along busy streets and roads. The individual outlets are between 20 and 50 square metres in size. The chain’s aggregate annual net sales are of the order of EUR 2.4 million, and the chain is profitable. Around 20% of sales come from newspapers and magazines, rather more than 40% from cigarettes and tobacco, and more than 20% from GSM phone cards.

- We shall be putting the sidewalk outlets under the R-Kiosk banner in the course of this year, and the kiosks at stations will become “Relay” units, in accordance with the company’s strategy, explains Jukka Nikkinen, VP of Rautakirja Kiosk Operations’ International Businesses unit.

The purchase brings to CZ Retail a total of 25 new employees. The new kiosks themselves will, however, subsequently be made into franchised outlets, as is the practice with the other kiosks already in the company’s ownership.

Rautakirja is part of the SanomaWSOY Group. Another SanomaWSOY subsidiary, Sanoma Magazines, is the leading magazine publisher in the Czech Republic. Sanoma Magazines Prague also owns a 9% share of the country’s largest press distribution company. Kiosk operations will complement the SanomaWSOY Group’s own publishing activities by offering suitable distribution channels in this market.