Grupo Eroski, the Spanish retailer, has posted a net loss of EUR97m (US$131.6m) for 2008 due to the costs of integrating the Caprabo business bought in 2007.

The company had planned to sell off a number of assets to protect the bottom line but was held back by the slump in the property market.

The retail co-operative generated EBITDA of EUR370m, a fall of 7% on 2007, but said sales jumped 18% to EUR9.01bn.

Eroski also embarked on an expansion programme last year, opening 164 stores and creating over 2,200 jobs.

By the end of 2008, the company comprised 2,420 Eroski stores.

However, the company said it would “focus its efforts” on “consolidating its existing network” of stores in 2009.