Chilean supermarket chain Santa Isabel, which is a unit of troubled Dutch retailer Ahold, doubled its losses in the first quarter compared with the same period last year.

The company reported a consolidated net loss of 6.91bn pesos (US$9.77m), compared with a loss of 3.19bn pesos in the year-ago period.

Ahold is currently in the process of selling Santa Isabel to Chilean retail group Cencosud but the deal is not certain to go ahead after Santa Isabel revealed its 2002 financial results were not approved by auditors, reported Reuters.

Santa Isabel posted operating costs up 18.6% in the first quarter to 102.79bn pesos. Revenues rose to 129.7bn pesos, compared to 115.34bn pesos in the year-ago period.