Tax benefit helps boost Q4 profits at Mexico's Comerci

MEXICO CITY Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:03pm EST

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MEXICO CITY Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexican retailer Comercial Mexicana on Wednesday reported a sharp jump in fourth-quarter profit, boosted by a tax benefit related to the sale of its 50 percent stake in the local arm of warehouse chain Costco in 2012.

The company known commonly as Comerci, which last month said it was considering selling itself, reported a profit of 2.24 billion pesos ($171 million), up from 363 million pesos in the year-earlier quarter.

On a before-tax basis, the company's profit rose 20 percent to 626 million pesos from 519 million pesos in the year-earlier quarter, helped by slightly higher sales as well as lower finance costs.

Net revenue rose by 2.9 percent compared with the same quarter a year earlier to 11.92 billion pesos.

Family-owned Comerci is Mexico's No. 4 supermarket chain by revenue. It has fared better than its larger rivals amid a downturn in consumer spending in Mexico.

The Mexico City-based company, which went through a prepackaged bankruptcy in 2010, has trimmed its debt load in the last few years, helped by selling the Costco stake.

Comerci shares closed down 2.13 percent at 52.03 pesos.

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