Chilean retailer Cencosud has seen first-quarter net profit slide by 38.6% as a result of increased expenses and a drop in operating profit.

Net profit for the period slumped to CHP15.12bn (US$26m) from CHP24.65bn in the same period of 2008.

Operating profit was also down, falling 14.8% to CHP57.3bn, but sales were up a solid 11.8% year-on-year to CHP1.33tn.

Consolidated EBITDA also dropped, by 6.5% to CHP86.3m.

Cencosud saw revenues in its Chilean hypermarkets increase 4.2% to CHP192.8m.

A 4.5% rise in nominal same store sales for the retailer's Argentinean stores meant net revenues increased 24.9% in the first quarter, reaching CHP78.2m.

During March, Cencosud signed an agreement to sell its stake in Inmobiliaria Mall Calama.

Last month, the retailer also acquired Casino's shares in Easy Holland BV, owner of Easy Colombia, increasing its participation to 100%.