MEXICO: "Weak" consumption hits Comerci sales
Mexican retailer Controladora Comercial Mexicana has posted lower first-quarter sales, with fiscal reform in the country weighing on consumer spending.
The group, known as Comerci, posted a 0.9% fall in same-store sales, which contributed to a 0.8% dip in net sales to MXN10.62bn (US$811.4m).
Comerci said this year's later Easter had affected sales but added: "Consumption remained weak during the 1Q14, affected in part by a reduction in disposable income and tax increases due to the fiscal reform."
Nonetheless, same-store sales from its smaller City Market, Fresko and Sumesa chains "outperformed the rest", Comerci claimed.
Gross profit was flat at MXN2.71bn, operating profit was up 0.8% at MXN955.4m. Net income was 8.7% higher at MXN451m due in part to lower interest charges.
In January, Comerci said it was considering takeover approaches made by domestic and international suitors.
The retailer said it had received "approaches from foreign and domestic groups interested in a partnership or strategic sale". The company said it was "exploring" the approaches.
Comercial, which has 199 stores, is listed on the Mexican stock exchange but most of the business is owned by descendants of the company's founders.
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