Profits at Spanish retailer El Corte Ingles fell by more than a third in 2011 as the economic problems in the country hit retail sales.

El Corte Ingles said on Sunday (26 August) its net profit reached EUR210m (US$263.3m) last year, down 34% on 2010. The privately-owned retailer’s EBITDA was EUR826m in 2011, 18.8% lower on a year earlier.

Sales were down 3.9% at EUR15.78bn, although El Corte Ingles said sales across the retail sector fell 5.6%.

The retailer said the sector had seen a shift towards cheaper products and increased promotions. However, it said it had “maintained” market share.

In June, El Corte Ingles announced price cuts on thousands of food products in a bid to stay competitive in the country’s ailing economy.

Sales from its Supercor supermarkets fell 3.5% to EUR402.2m. Revenue from its Hipercor hypermarkets dropped 13.6% to EUR2.11bn.

Sales at El Corte Ingles’ department stores, its biggest business, were down 4.2% at EUR9.21bn.