Official figures from ailing German chain Spar Handels reveal it plunged further into the red during 2001. The company blamed restructuring costs for its E99m loss ­ against an E80m loss in 2000 ­ but promised the new, slimmed down operation would deliver better returns in 2002. Sales were up 3.7% to E7.4bn. A spokeswoman said restructuring was virtually finished, with the company now completely focused on its company owned Eurospar/ Intermarché estate, the 948 strong Netto hard discount chain, and the 3,000 plus Spar independent retailers it supplies as a wholesaler. Its cash and carry division, Kodi non-food stores and home shopping operation Einkauf 24 have been sold. In 2003, the focus will be on improving its fresh food offer and driving closer collaboration between sales, logistics and purchasing functions. {{NEWS }}

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