By Paula Laier
SAO PAULO, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Carrefour Brasil CRFB3.SA on Tuesday reported adjusted net income of 757 million reais ($140 million) for the third quarter, an increase of 73.1% from the year-ago period thanks to strong sales growth and cost controls.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 18.6% to 1.34 billion reais, while the profit margin narrowed to 7.7% from 8.2% a year earlier due to exceptional provisions, the company said in a filing.
The results by Brazil's largest retailer by most measures, owned by France's Carrefour SA CARR.PA, reflected resilience of Brazil's retail sector amidst the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Carrefour Brasil Group presented a remarkable performance in the third quarter, with record sales growth and impressive profitability, and this strong trend has continued since then," the group's chief executive Noël Prioux said in a statement.
In the warehouse store unit Atacadão, adjusted EBITDA reached 984 million reais, up 51.4% year-on-year, with profit margin rising from to 8% from 6.9%. The retail division reported a 62.1% increase in adjusted EBITDA to 410 million reais, with its margin growing to 8% from 2.2%.
A reduction in government emergency pandemic aid has yet to impact the company's results, according to the group's vice president for finance, Sébastien Durchon. "The very strong sales trend continues," he said.
After Carrefour froze prices of brand products at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, it later raised prices to protect margins as a sharp depreciation in the real currency fueled inflation in some products.
E-commerce sales grew 86.1% in the third quarter year-on-year, including its fast delivery service, which saw a staggering 202.4% growth in food e-commerce and a 69.1% rise in online sales in the non-food segment.
($1 = 5.4025 reais)
(Reporting by Paula Arend Laier; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast.)
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