Santiago-based Supermercados Unimarc SA, the fourth largest food retailer in Chile, has announced net sales of Ch$27,816m (US$42.68m) for its Q1 2002, down 18.7% from the Ch$34,235m reported for the Q1 2001.

Same store sales also decreased 18.9% during the Q1 2002 year on year, and the company explained that sales were down mainly due to greater competition and a decrease in consumer spending.

Gross profit during the Q1 2002 was Ch$7,251m, a 15.4% drop from Ch$8,572m in the same period of the year 2001, which was due to a lower price strategy adopted during the Q1 2002.

As a percentage of sales, gross margins were 26.1% during the Q1 2002 and 25% during the same period in 2001.

Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses during Q1 2002 were Ch$6,926m, a 1.2% decrease compared to Ch$7,013m reported in the Q1 2001. As a percentage of sales, SG&A expenses were 24.9% for the Q1 2002 and 20.5% for the Q1 2001.

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Operating income for the Q1 2002 was Ch$325m, which represented a 79.2% decrease compared to Ch$1,559m in the Q1 2001. The Operating income decrease was due to the sales decrease.

Non-operating result for the Q1 2002 was Ch$2,989m, compared to a non-operating loss for the same period of 2001 of Ch$-1,182m. Net income for the Q1 2002 was Ch$3,517m, while net income for the Q1 2001 was Ch$168m.

The EBITDA margin decreased from 8.3% in the Q1 2001 to 3.4% in the Q1 2002. Net income per share for Q1 2002 was Ch$2.79, adjusted to the number of shares outstanding. Net income per ADR was Ch$139.38, or US$0.21.

At the end of Q1 2002, Unimarc had 33 stores in Chile, and a total sales area of 62,837m².