Expansion into Russia and store openings hit profits from Finland-based retailer Kesko’s food stores last year.

Operating profit from Kesko’s food business dropped 3.8% to EUR168.4m (US$228m) in 2012, the company reported today (5 February). Grocery sales at its K-food stores, however, increased by 3.9%, while sales of its private-label Pirkka products grew by 11.8%. Net sales amounted to EUR4.31bn, a 3.1% increase on last year.

Group pre-tax profit slid 23.7% to EUR215.2m, while operating profit dropped 22.7% to EUR216.7m. Net sales, however, were up 2.4% to EUR9.69bn.

Kesko said it expects net sales for 2013 to match the level of the previous year.