Chilean retail giant Cencosud has reported a decline in full-year earnings on the back of higher financial costs related to its acquisition of Carrefour‘s Colombian business.

The Latin American retailer booked a 4.2% drop in earnings in 2012 to CLP272.8m (US$574m), it reported on Friday (1 March). The company blamed higher financial costs as it increased its debt to partly finance the US$2.6bn acquisition of Carrefour’s Colombian unit.

Operating profit, however, was up 6% to CLP607.9m, largely due to improved operating income from the retailer’s supermarket, financial service and department store divisions.

Revenues increased 20.4% to CLP9.15bn, driven by the acquisitions of Brazilian retailer Prezunic and Chile’s Johnson, and a 10% increase in selling space. Cencosud reported “positive” growth in same-store sales from its supermarkets in Chile, Argentina and Peru.