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Mercator Reports EUR 8.6M Q1 Loss, CEO Forecasts Annual Profit

Ljubljana, 14 May (STA) - Grocer Mercator reported a EUR 8.6m loss for the first fiscal quarter on Tuesday, which is in line with the plans of the management, which aims to have the group profitable again by the end of the year.

The quarterly loss comes after Slovenia's leading retailer posted a loss of EUR 100m in 2012, prompting the management to launch an extensive restructuring programme.

The effects of the recession continued to affect the group's sales in the first quarter, which fell 2.6% year-on-year to EUR 658.4m, according to a press release from Mercator.

Nevertheless, chairman Toni Balažič stressed that the group's sliding market share had begun to stabilise and even turn upwards in certain segments. He expressed confidence that the grocer would report a profit for the whole year.

"We are successfully pursuing stabilisation of operations through cost rationalisation and refocusing on core operations and strategic markets," Balažič said in a press release.

Mercator is to present more details of operations in the first quarter at a press conference on Wednesday.

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