Falabella's regional expansion drives profit rise

miércoles 5 de marzo de 2014 08:26 GYT

SANTIAGO, March 5 (Reuters) - Chilean retail group Falabella
 reported a 15 percent rise in fourth quarter profit as
its fast pace of expansion in South America continued despite
slowing growth in much of the region.
    Falabella, Chile's largest listed company by market cap with
operations in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Colombia, said
late on Tuesday that net income was 168 billion Chilean pesos
($300 million) in the three months to end-December.
    That was broadly in line with market forecasts and compared
to profit of 146 billion pesos for the final quarter a year ago.
    Revenues rose 16 percent to around $3.8 billion.
    New store openings and the consolidation of a home
improvement acquisition in Brazil boosted sales, the company
    "The higher sales in this period are explained by an
increased retail space over the last year, including the
acquisition of Construdecor in Brazil, as well as positive
growth from retail operations. The performance of Colombia is
also noteworthy," said Falabella alongside results.
    During the final quarter, Falabella opened three malls in
Chile and one in Peru, plus 17 new department stores. 
    None of the expansion was in Argentina, where margins have
been under pressure. Inflation in Argentina was unofficially
estimated at over 25 percent last year.
    Falabella, which dates from the 1880s, has branched out into
home improvement, supermarkets, banking and travel agencies, in
addition to its core department store operation.