Slovenian supermarket group Mercator has booked an increase in first-half profits despite “highly challenging” economic conditions in the period.

For the six months to the end of June, the retailer earned EUR17.7m (US$22.4m) compared to EUR11.3m in the prior year period. The figure was positively impacted by an increase in revenues, marketing and development activities, and business rationalisation measures.

Mercator generated revenues of EUR1.33bn in the period, 3.9% more than in the corresponding period last year

Operating profit climbed to EUR53.1m from EUR40.5m last year.

The retailer said it has revised its full year estimate based on the development of economic conditions and relevant business aspects in the second half of 2010.

Revenues are expected to amount to EUR2.83bn, a 7.1% increase on 2009, and EBITDA is forecast at EUR170.2m, a 1.8% increase on last year.

Click here to view the full earnings release.