March 17, 2019 / 11:26 AM / 3 months ago

Israel supermarket chain Shufersal Q4 profit down on drugstore launch

TEL AVIV, March 17 (Reuters) -

* Shufersal, Israel’s largest supermarket chain, said on Sunday its net profit fell in the fourth quarter due to the cost of rebranding and launching a newly purchased drugstore chain.

* The company posted net profit of 49 million shekels ($13 million) versus 77 million a year earlier, saying the gap stemmed from the drugstore launch.

* Revenue increased 10.3 percent to 3.2 billion shekels as same store sales rose 3.0 percent.

* Shufersal last year agreed to buy New-Pharm Drugstores, which operates dozens of branches in Israel, for 130 million shekels. It rebranded it under the name “Be” and officially launched it in the fourth quarter.

* Expenses rose to 760 million shekels from 663 million due to the integration of New-Pharm and to costs associated with the launching of a new credit card, as well as a rise in salary expenses.

* ($1 = 3.5947 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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