UPDATE 2-Mexico supermarket chain Soriana posts lower 1st-qtr profit

Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:05pm EDT

Related Topics

(Adds outlook from conference call)

MEXICO CITY, April 25 (Reuters) - Mexico's No. 2 supermarket chain, Organizacion Soriana, said on Friday its first-quarter profit fell more than one-fifth and it lowered its 2014 forecast because of sluggish consumer spending and temporary store closures.

Soriana reported a profit of 795 million pesos ($61 million), compared with 1.016 billion pesos in the January-March period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 6 percent to 23.823 billion pesos as already weak Mexican consumer spending was compounded by the temporary closing of stores for remodeling. The Easter holiday week, which fell this year in April compared with March last year, also reduced sales.

A currency loss of 6 million pesos compared with a gain of 70 million pesos a year earlier added to the profit decline.

Soriana competes with Mexico's biggest supermarket chain, U.S. controlled Wal-Mart de Mexico. Walmex on Tuesday reported a 4.5 percent lower profit but slightly higher first-quarter revenue.

The company lowered its 2014 forecast on a conference call with analysts on Friday, estimating flat same-store sales instead of the 4 percent growth it forecast last year.

The company said it closed around 20 stores in the first quarter, either temporarily for refurbishment or permanently.

Shares in Soriana were up 0.13 percent at 39.00 pesos on Friday after the results were announced.

($1 = 13.06 pesos at end March) (Reporting by Elinor Comlay and Christine Murray in Mexico City and Gabriela Lopez in Monterrey; Editing by W Simon and Richard Chang)

FILED UNDER: