TEL AVIV May 12 Shufersal, Israel's largest supermarket chain, reported a 42 percent drop in quarterly net profit on Monday due to the timing of the Passover holiday, intensifying competition in the sector and a weakening Israeli economy.
Formerly known as Super-Sol, the company posted first-quarter net profit of 32 million shekels ($9.3 million)down from 55 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 6 percent to 2.81 billion shekels.
Same store sales fell 6.5 percent in the quarter from a year ago due partly to the timing of the week-long Passover holiday, which occurred in the first quarter in 2013 but in the second quarter in 2014.
The company said that since the start of 2014 there has been a drop in food consumption in Israel. Israel's economy is expected to grow 3.1 percent this year, down from 3.3 percent in 2013.
Chief Executive Itzhak Aberkohen said these factors led to weak sales at the start of the year but that there has since been a certain recovery and improved sales.
Shufersal is controlled by holding company Discount Investment Corp. ($1 = 3.4557 Israeli Shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)