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Grupo Casa Saba Announces 4Q08 Earnings Results


Sales in our Health, Beauty, Consumer Goods, General Merchandise and Other division reached $661.54 million, an increase of 14.77% versus the fourth quarter of 2007. This was due to commercial agreements that enabled us to increase promotions and discounts which, in turn, increased our sales.

As a percentage of total sales, this division went from representing 7.97% in 4Q07 to 8.47% during the fourth quarter of 2008.


Publication sales decreased 45.02% during the quarter, primarily as a result of lower unit sales. This decrease was mainly due to the fact that Citem stopped distributing some publications that no longer met our minimal profitability requirements.

This division's participation as a percentage of total sales went from 3.36% in 4Q07 to 1.71% in the fourth quarter of 2008.


During the fourth quarter of the year, Grupo Casa Saba's gross income increased 17.86% to reach $953.38 million. The company's gross margin improved as a result of the recent investments, to 12.21% compared to 11.18% during 4Q07.


Operating expenses reached $608.78 million, an increase of 50.94% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. This was due to the investments that were made over the past months. Operating expenses represented 7.80% of our total sales.


As a result of the increase in operating expenses, operating income declined 15.04%, to reach $344.59 million. The operating margin was 4.41%, 120 b.p. lower than the 5.61% margin registered in the fourth quarter of 2007.


Operating income plus depreciation and amortization for 4Q08 was $374.30 million, a decrease of 12.23% compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Depreciation and amortization for the period

SOURCE Grupo Casa Saba
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