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UPDATE 1 - Slovenia's Mercator swings to cons net loss in Q1

UPDATE 1 - Slovenia's Mercator swings to cons net loss in Q1 Author: Mercator. License: All rights reserved.

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), May 31 (SeeNews) – Slovenian retailer Mercator [LJE:MELR] said on Friday it swung to a consolidated net loss of 3.7 million euro ($4.1 million) in the first quarter of 2019, from a net profit of 1.9 million euro in the prior-year period.

Consolidated revenue fell 3.1% on the year to 499.8 million euro in the first three months, while the operating profit (EBIT) for the period reached 9.6 million euro, which is an increase of 5.6% over the same period of the preceding year, Mercator said in a filing to the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

However, the data is not entirely comparable between the two periods, because from the start of 2019, a new international accounting standard, IFRS 16 Leases, came into effect, which affects the operating profit, the company noted.

The Mercator Group's EBITDA totalled 39.8 million euro in the January-March period; in the equivalent period of the preceding year EBITDA  amounted to 25.8 million euro, according to restated data.

By monetizing its real estate, Mercator repaid a considerable portion of its financial debt, the company said.

The group's net financial debt as at March 31, 2019, amounted to 666.8 million euro without the effect of IFRS 16, down 18.2% compared to end-March 2018.

In February, Mercator said it has completed the sale of 10 shopping centres in Slovenia to Austria’s Supernova group for 116.6 million euro. Under the sale and purchase agreement announced in October, Mercator is taking on a long-term lease the parts of the centres in which it is conducting its core activity.

Capital expenditures of the Mercator Group in the period under review totalled 3.5 million euro, down 51.4% on the year.

Mercator said on Thursday it has signed a 80 million euro super-senior facility arrangement with VTB Bank Europe.

The new super-senior facility at considerably better terms is an important part of the pursuit of Mercator's long-term strategy, the retailer said in a filing to the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

($ = 0.89804 euro)