Mercator profit trends improve

Mercator profit trends improve

Slovenian retailer Mercator said it was able to reverse "negative business trends" in 2013 when it reported profits that "significantly improved" over the year.

In an earnings update, the company said it has halted the decline in operating earnings witnessed in recent years. EBITDA was flat year-on-year, totalling EUR107.4m (US$145.2m) in the 12 months to the end of December. Excluding costs associated with the proposed sale of the business and its debt refinancing, Mercator emphasised operating profit would have been "significantly" higher.

While Mercator was able to improve its profitability over the year, the Balkans retailer said that its top line came under pressure from lower household spending, structural changes in buying patterns and restructuring moves. As a result, revenues fell 3.7% year-on-year, dropping to EUR2.8bn.

Mercator is lined up to be taken over by Croatian rival Agrokor. Last November, Slovenia's competition watchdog gave the green light to Agrokor's plan to buy 51% of Mercator. Croatia's anti-trust authorities are still scrutinising the deal.

Click here to view the release from the company.