LISBON, April 20 (Reuters) - Portuguese retailer Jeronimo Martins posted a first-quarter net profit practically unchanged from a year ago, in line with the market consensus, as expansion costs in its new market Colombia all but offset the impact of a strong rise in sales.
The company said in a statement on Wednesday it netted 78 million euros ($84 million) after 77 million a year earlier. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 4.6 percent to 192 million euros, also coming in line with market expectations.
Jeronimo Martins, which is the largest food retailer in Poland and the second-largest domestically, said overall sales rose 9 percent to 3.68 billion euros. Same-store sales increased 5.8 percent.
The closely-watched EBITDA margin - a key measure of profitability - of Jeronimo Martins' Polish unit Biedronka rose to 6.8 percent from 6.6 percent a year earlier as same-store sales there rose 8.4 percent. The group's total EBITDA margin dropped to 5.2 percent from 5.4 percent. ($1 = 0.9303 euros) (Reporting By Andrei Khalip)