* Net profit up 5 pct to 89 mln euros, forecast was 115 mln
* EBITDA rose 8 pct to 210 mln euros, also below forecast
* 2012 sales grew 10.5 pct, more double-digit growth seen
(Adds stock price, comment, quotes)
LISBON, Feb 27 Portuguese retailer Jeronimo
Martins said it would further focus on foreign markets
for growth after a disappointing 5 percent rise in quarterly
profit sent shares lower.
Portugal is taking painful austerity measures to slash its
budget deficit under a 78-billion euro EU/IMF bailout plan that
has hammered consumer demand.
Shares in Jeronimo Martins, Portugal's No. 2 retailer and
Poland's largest food retail firm via its Biedronka discount
chain, slumped about 4 percent to 15.45 euros in early trading,
weighing on the broader market in Lisbon, down 0.4 percent.
"It's a negative set of results ... driven by a worse
operating performance, higher taxes and an 8 million one-off in
restructuring costs and impairments in the manufacturing and
Portuguese division," BPI bank analysts wrote.
Net profit in the quarter rose to 89 million euros ($116.35
million), below an average forecast of 115 million euros in a
Reuters poll of eight analysts.
The group said it expected a double-digit rise in 2013
sales, however, with its Polish performance offsetting a
recession at home and as it concentrates on growth in a new
market - Colombia.
Jeronimo Martins said total sales rose nearly 16 percent in
the quarter from a year ago to 2.92 billion euros, and were up
10.5 percent in 2012 as a whole.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization
(EBITDA) rose 8 percent in the quarter to 210 million euros,
compared with an average analyst forecast of 222 million euros.
It said it hoped to "grow above the market" in Poland, while
in Portugal the company signalled it would continue with the
discount campaigns at its main Pingo Doce supermarket chain that
helped it increase market share last year.
"The company's market share responded positively to the new
price positioning and sales grew by 2.4 percent in the year that
the retail food market declined by 1.6 percent," it said.
"We therefore expect that 2013 will be a good year of growth
for the Group, revitalised by the experience of entering a new
market and getting to know a new consumer," the company said,
referring to opening shops in Colombia.
($1 = 0.7649 euros)
(Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)