Brazil’s top retailer Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) has posted 2002 net profit of BRL245.1m (US$68.3m), a 2% slide from the previous year.

CBD, which is popularly known as Grupo Pao de Acucar, said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 21.6% to BRL781.2m, and net revenues increased 10.6% to BRL7.98bn. On an operating level, net sales rose 17.4% to BRL9.45bn.

Same-store sales increased 4% in the year, beating CBD’s initial target of 3.5%.

CBD’s lower profit for 2002 has been attributed to higher debt costs, caused by high interest rates in Brazil, and the depreciation of the Brazilian currency, the real, reported Reuters.

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