Brazilian retailer Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD) saw its first-quarter profit almost triple as sales increased and the company kept its spending down.

The supermarket operator posted a net income of BRL94.9m (US$46.2m) from BRL33.2m a year earlier.

Net sales rose 9.4% to BRL4.64bn boosted by a rising demand for food and appliances.

On a same-store basis, gross sales were up 4.6%, while net sales increased by 7.9%. Same-store sales continued their strong growth in January and February, exceeding the company‘s initial expectations and outpacing inflation.

However, the seasonal impact from Easter, which last year fell in March, versus April this year, led to slightly negative performance in the month.

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“The results achieved by the company in the quarter were due to the adoption of a successful commercial strategy that combines aggressive discounts negotiated with suppliers with the correct product mix,” the company said.

EBITDA totalled BRL$312.3m, 14.1% up year-on-year, accompanied by an EBITDA margin of 6.7%.