SANTIAGO, March 1 Chilean retailer Cencosud
said on Friday net profit slipped 1.6 percent
last year due to rising costs associated with growing debt used
to expand in the region.
Profit fell to 269.959 billion pesos ($564 million) last
year from 2011, but rose 20.7 percent in the fourth quarter on
better operational results and lower taxes.
The retailer, which has more than doubled its stores since
2005 through growth and acquisitions, made its most recent big
purchase last year with the $2.6 billion acquisition of French
retailer Carrefour SA's Colombian
Chilean retailers like Cencosud and rival Falabella
have been flexing their muscles across Latin America as domestic
demand booms in much of the region.
SALES JUMP ON AGGRESSIVE EXPANSION
Sales last year jumped 20.3 percent to 9.149 trillion pesos
($19.1 billion) on the back of Cencosud's aggressive expansion
"The 20 percent increase was mostly due to the addition of
157 new stores, including 31 new supermarkets from the Prezunic
acquisition (in Brazil) and 39 new home department stores from
the Johnson's acquisition (in Chile)," Cencosud said in a
Last month, Cencosud said it expected regional expansion to
help boost 2013 sales by about 25 percent to $22.5 billion, a
level below that forecast by the company late last year.
The diversified retailer currently operates about 900
supermarkets, department and home improvement stores and
shopping malls in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
Shares in Cencosud traded 0.24 percent lower in midday
Friday trade, broadly in line with a 0.32 percent drop on
Santiago's blue-chip IPSA stock index.