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European online fashion retailer Zalando plans IPO this year

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BERLIN - Europe's biggest online fashion retailer, Zalando SE, said Wednesday it plans a public listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange this year.

Founded six years ago, the Berlin-based company is one of Germany's most successful Internet start-ups, with a presence in 15 countries, though not the U.S. The site claims over 100 million visits a month and 14 million active users who have made a purchase in the last 12 months.

Zalando said it intends to offer 10 to 11 per cent of its stock in the IPO. Swedish holding company Kinnevik AB, Zalando's biggest shareholder, last year estimated the company's value at just under 4 billion euros (currently $5.3 billion).

Zalando, which has some 7,000 employees, last week reported revenues of 1.05 billion euros and its first operating profit of 12 million euros for the first half of 2014.

Co-founder David Schneider told reporters last week that the company now has 0.5 per cent of Europe's 420 billion-euro fashion retail market.

Zalando does more than half of its business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but is present in 15 countries, including the highly competitive British market. At the moment the company has no plans to push into the United States.

Last week it announced that it would start stocking clothes by Topshop, MANGO and American Apparel among its 1,500 brands.

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