UPDATE 1-Greek retailer Jumbo's 12-mth profit up 15 pct, sales growth to slow

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ΑTHENS, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Greece’s biggest listed retailer Jumbo on Monday posted a 15 percent rise in full year net profit, helped by robust growth in Bulgaria and Romania.

Net profit for the fiscal year which ended in June was 151 million euros ($174.95 million), up from 131 million euros in the year ago period. It will pay a total dividend of 0.39 euros a share, up from 0.36 euros for the previous 12 months.

Despite eight years of austerity and three international bailouts in Greece, which led to a 28 percent drop in retail sales, Jumbo has fared well thanks to its low-cost products and foreign operations.

Its home market, where it operates 51 stores, accounts for less than two-thirds of the group’s sales.

The retailer, which has another 24 stores in Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania, had already reported a 10.5 percent rise in 12-month sales to 753.3 million euros.

But the company estimated that sales growth will slow down to 5-6 percent in the current fiscal year due to stagnant economic activity in Greece.

Sales for the first quarter to September rose approximately 6 percent, the company said, thanks to double-digit percentage growth in Bulgaria and Romania.

It added that it plans to open two new stores in Romania and another one in Greece by June, as part of an aggressive expansion strategy. ($1 = 0.8631 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by Karolina Tagaris and Kirsten Donovan)