Carrefour Brasil swings to quarterly loss as BIG purchase weighs

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of French retailer Carrefour on shopping trolleys in Sao Paulo

SAO PAULO(Reuters) -Carrefour Brasil reported a first quarter net loss of 113 million reais ($22.39 million), hit by high investment costs at its acquired food retailer Grupo BIG, the company said in a filing with Brazil's main stock exchange on Tuesday.

The company posted a net profit of 370 million reais in the same January-to-March period last year.

The Brazilian arm of French retailer Carrefour SA said that net sales rose 29.4% to reach 24.39 billion reais in the first quarter, while its wholesale units posted 19% sales growth year-on-year.

Carrefour's Brazilian unit said operating expenses soared 52% from a year earlier to total 3.8 billion reais, fueled by store conversion and the integration of BIG.

Chief Financial Officer Eric Alencar told reporters that a large part of the quarter's losses were explained by investments in BIG.

The Carrefour subsidiary bought BIG in mid-2022 and announced last month a discount of up to 1 billion reais in the initial amount paid of 7.5 billion reais.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the company fell about 17% to total 1.038 billion reais, but the firm saw 0.6% growth in adjusted EBITDA when excluding Grupo BIG, reaching 1.254 billion reais.

Carrefour Brasil said it has opened three new wholesale format stores and 23 converted stores in the first quarter.

($1 = 5.0464 reais)

(Reporting by Andre Romani; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by David Alire Garcia)