Ljubljana, 12 November (STA) - The group around retailer Mercator generated more than EUR 2bn in sales revenues in the first nine months, 3.6% less than in the same period the year before. The group recorded a net loss of EUR 17.6m, which was less than in January-September 2012.
The drop in sales revenues was affected mostly by poor sales of clothes and electric devices due to a change in consumer habits and lower pay in Slovenia and Croatia.
Also contributing to the drop in revenues was the restructuring of operations, which saw Mercator withdraw from Albania and Bulgaria, as well as close inefficient stores and reduce sales surfaces.
Mercator CEO Toni Balažič commented on the results by saying that the group was operating in very demanding conditions.
"Apart from the unfavourable business environment....the group is facing additional business challenges, such as high debt, poor profitability of some past investments and poor efficiency of the company," Balažič said in a press release.
By the end of September, Mercator group lowered its debt by 2.7% or EUR 29.7m to EUR 994.3m.
Mercator has moreover reached an agreement in principle with a group of six key creditor banks regarding conditions for long-term debt restructuring. The company expects to complete the process by the end of the year.
The company also said it managed to save more than planned in the first nine months of the year.