Lower financing costs help Mexico's Chedraui to higher profit

MEXICO CITY Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:09pm EST

MEXICO CITY Feb 21 (Reuters) - Lower financing costs and a pickup in sales from stores in the United States helped Mexican supermarket chain Chedraui to a 15.7 percent increase in its fourth-quarter profit, the company said on Friday.

Chedraui, Mexico's No. 4 supermarket chain by number of stores, reported a profit of 435 million pesos ($33 million) compared to a profit of 376 million pesos in the October-December period a year earlier.

Chedraui's profit benefited from an 18.3 percent drop in its financing costs, while revenue rose 3.8 percent to 18.4 billion pesos.

Sales at stores open at least a year in Mexico, where consumer spending slowed last year, rose just 0.5 percent, while same-store sales in the United States rose 2.4 percent.

Chedraui opened 13 new stores in 2013 to end the year with 256 stores, of which 45 are in the United States.

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