Israeli retailer Blue Square-Israel has reported a fall in first-quarter net profit, due in part to the late date of the Passover holiday this year, but said it would continue to be profitable and increase its market share.

The company’s net profit in the quarter fell to 16.1m shekels (US$3.6m), compared to 43.0m shekels in the year-ago period.

“Despite market conditions, we believe we are positioned favourably to maintain profitability and to build long-term market share,” Blue Square president and chief executive Yoram Dar was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Blue Square’s revenues were down 15.3% to 1.23bn shekels.