Russian retailer Dixy has recorded an increase earnings as store openings boosted sales in the first quarter. In the three months to the end of March, net profit reached RUR386m (US$11.9m), an 8.6% improvement on the prior year. Despite the increase, Dixy said earnings growth was held back by a 53% jump in finance costs due to increased debt level as well as higher depreciation expenses. Consolidated EBITDA was up 23.9% in the quarter to RUR2.6bn, while sales climbed 21.9% to RUR42.3bn. This was driven mainly by organic store openings and helped by 5% like-for-like sales growth in the period. During the quarter, Dixy opened 45 stores on net basis and increased selling space by 27% year-on-year. Click here to view the full earnings release.