X5 Retail Group has booked a 20.6% decline in first-half profits, with declining sales and margins hitting the bottom line and currency exchange dampening comparisons.

The company said today (21 August) net profit slipped to US$135.2m in dollar-terms during the six months to the end of July.

Dollar-revenue at Russia’s largest retailer by sales dropped 0.1% to $1.86bn, although sales were up 6.9% in rouble terms, the company emphasised.

EBITDA slid 2.1% as EBITDA margin eroded from 7.2% in the comparable period of last year to 7.1%.

The company said margins were hit by an increase in logistics costs in the second quarter, when the group opened a new distribution centre and established direct imports.

Click here for our BRICs and beyond column on why the next 12 months will be a telling year in X5’s future.