Profits of Chile’s Cencosud fall by half, hit by inflation

SANTIAGO (Reuters) -Chilean retailer Cencosud on Thursday posted a 48% drop in its third-quarter profit, the company said in a statement, as it faces rising consumer prices across the region.

Cencosud’s net profit in the July to September period totaled 72.97 billion pesos ($81 million), down by nearly half from its 141.3 billion peso profit during the same period last year.

One of Latin America’s largest retailers, with operations ranging from department stores to groceries and home improvement, Cencosud runs businesses in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru as well as its home base, Chile.

The company’s third-quarter profit takes into account its operations in Argentina, where annual inflation is seen ending this year at around 100%. But if the effect of surging prices in the South American country are stripped out from its results, Cencosud’s quarterly gains would have reached 175.5 billion pesos ($190 million), according to the firm.

Cencosud reported overall revenue growth of nearly 28% year-on-year to reach 3.88 trillion pesos ($4.3 billion). Excluding Argentina’s effects, the company said net revenue hit $4.082 billion, up about a third compared to the same quarter last year.

(1 dollar = 900 pesos at end-September)

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero and Carolina Pulice; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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