Brazilian supermarket group Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) has reported a fourth-quarter profit, meeting analysts' expectations, despite weak sales.

CBD, which is popularly known by the name of its supermarket chain Pao de Acucar, posted a net profit of BRL76.1m (US$26.0m) for the fourth quarter of 2003, compared to BRL102.5m a year earlier, reported Dow Jones International News. Net sales rose 3.5% to BRL2.99bn.

The company said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were BRL264.7m, while analysts had expected EBITDA to be similar to the BRL240.5m posted for the year-ago period.

For the full year 2003, CBD posted net profit of BRL225.5m, down 8% year-on-year, while EBITDA rose 15.4% to BRL901.7m in 2003.