UPDATE 1-Cencosud's sales rise despite slowdown in South American markets

viernes 5 de septiembre de 2014 14:10 GYT

(Recasts, adds sales and background details)

SANTIAGO, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Chilean diversified retailer Cencosud posted a healthy increase in sales during the second quarter despite decelerating economic growth in some of its main markets.

Net revenues increased 5.4 percent from a year earlier to 2.586 trillion pesos ($4.42 billion), boosted by operations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. The result was partially offset by lower revenues in Argentina due to the devaluation of the local currency, Cencosud said on Friday.

Cencosud owns supermarket chain Jumbo, home improvement chain Easy, and the Paris department stores, as well as malls.

Second-quarter net profit surged threefold to 24.54 billion pesos ($41.9 million), as its sales increased, non-operating losses declined and costs associated with taxes fell.

Cencosud's same-store sales in Chile increased 5.5 percent in supermarkets, 3.4 percent in department stores and 3.1 percent in home improvement. The company makes over one-half its earnings in Chile, where the economy has been quickly slowing,

Chile's larger retailers like Cencosud, Falabella and Ripley have reported second-quarter earnings that were mostly unscathed by the rapid economic slowdown, although the figures were likely distorted by the June-July World Cup soccer tournament. Analysts expect the effects to feed through in the next quarter.

In neighboring Argentina, whose economy slid into recession in the first quarter, same-store sales jumped 33.3 percent in supermarkets and 25.6 percent in home improvement. (1 U.S. dollar = 585.3300 Chilean pesos) (Reporting by Santiago newsroom, Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)