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Retail chain Auchan to continue operations in the land of Magyars

Published 23 February 2015

Auchan Magyarország will continue operations in Hungary and has plans of developing its business in the land of the Magyars, according to director-general Dominique Ducoux.

The statement follows a bill passed by the Hungarian Parliament at the end of 2014 "implementing fair market practices" that bans hypermarkets, supermarkets and discount stores from opening outlets in and around the World Heritage sites of Budapest.

Ducoux categorically stated that none of Auchan's 19 hypermarkets and 16 gas stations operating in Hungary shall be closed down.

"The drop in revenue resulting from the Sunday ban on large retailers to come in force in mid-March is expected to even out or at least partially be recovered during the rest of the week. The company is still interpreting the new regulations and will make every effort to maintain all current jobs," he added.

Auchan has an approximate workforce of 7,000 in Hungary -- which also includes 360 disabled workers -- and around 1,500 suppliers out of which 1,350 are Hungarian.

According to Bloomberg's December report, Auchan, Spar, TESCO and Lidl are expecting losses in 2015 as Hungary had also passed a law regarding Sunday closure of supermarkets on top of a 6% levy on retail activities.

The Hungarian government, however, was of the opinion that the new law had nothing to do with TESCO's layoffs and it was more of an internal problem.