Israeli supermarket retailer Blue Square has reported a near 50% dive in third-quarter net profit.

The operator of Israel’s second-largest supermarket chain posted net profit of 25.3m shekels (US$5.4m), compared to 43.7m shekels a year earlier. The fall in profit was attributed to the deepening recession, a decline in food prices and increased competition.

In the third quarter, Blue Square’s revenues fell 10.5% to 1.41bn shekels, while same store sales fell by 13.5%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to 94m shekels.

Blue Square’s main rival, Super-Sol, posted a 64% dive in third-quarter net profit earlier this month, reported Reuters.