SANTIAGO May 30 Chilean retailer Cencosud's
first-quarter net profit fell sharply due to costs from a loan
to pay for the acquisition of French retailer Carrefour SA's
Colombian assets and exchange rate fluctuations, the company
said on Thursday.
Net profit at Cencosud fell 63 percent from a year
ago to 20.063 billion pesos, or $42.4 million.
Struggling Carrefour, Europe's largest retailer,
agreed in October to sell its Colombian assets to Cencosud for
To pay for the acquisition, Cencosud signed a $2.5 billion
loan agreement with JP Morgan Chase Bank.
Cencosud's bottom line was also hurt by a 20 billion peso
provision after Chile's Supreme Court fined it about $70 million
for a unilateral hike in its supermarket unit's credit card
maintenance fees in 2006.
"Excluding the one-time effect of the provision, net profit
fell 26 percent versus the first quarter 2012," Cencosud said.
Sales during the first three months of the year totaled
2.468 trillion pesos, a 13.8 percent jump from the prior year.
The diversified retailer operates nearly 1,000 supermarkets,
department and home improvement stores and shopping malls in
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru.