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Grupo Casa Saba Announces Fourth Quarter 2007 Results
Date:2/26/2008

Sales and Operating Income Plus Depreciation and Amortization Increased

3.85% and 2.96%, Respectively

MEXICO CITY, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Grupo Casa Saba ("Saba", "GCS", "the Company" or "the Group"), one of the leading Mexican distributors of pharmaceutical products, beauty aids, personal care and consumer goods, general merchandise, publications and other products, announces its consolidated financial and operating results for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Financial Highlights:

(All figures are expressed in millions of Mexican pesos as of December 31, 2007. Comparisons are made with the same period of 2006, unless otherwise stated. Figures may vary due to rounding practices. "b.p." stands for basis points.)

- Sales for the quarter totaled $7,101.73 million

- Gross income increased 3.56%

- Gross margin for the quarter was 11.19%

- Quarterly operating expenses as a percentage of sales were 5.33%

- The operating margin for the quarter was 5.86%

- Net profit for the quarter reached $383.90 million

- Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter was $661.63 million

QUARTERLY EARNINGS

NET SALES

During the fourth quarter, GCS's sales were $7,101.73 million, an increase of 3.85%.

Sales for our Private Pharma division grew 3.66% during the fourth quarter of 2007, due to an increase in the number of units sold.

Sales in our Health, Beauty, Consumer Goods, General Merchandise and Others division rose slightly versus the fourth quarter of 2006, growing 1.63%, while the Government Pharma division's sales increased 4.13%.

Publications sales increased significantly, growing by 14.62%. This was due to a significant increase in the number of units sold, particularly in sales of men's and women's magazines as well as health-oriented publications and the 2008 astrological guides.

The sales mix was not altered significantly. Private Pharma sales represented 85.03% of total sales, Government Pharma accounted for 3.44%, Health, Beauty, Consumer Goods, General Merchandise and Other totaled 8.11% and Publications made up the remaining 3.42%.

SALES BY DIVISION

PRIVATE PHARMA

Sales in this division rose 3.66%, as a result of an increase in the number of units sold. Sales reached $6,038.47 million and represent 85.03% of the Group's total sales.

GOVERNMENT PHARMA

Government Pharma sales reached $244.03 million during 4Q07 and accounted for 3.44% of our total sales.

HEALTH, BEAUTY, CONSUMER GOODS, GENERAL MERCHANDISE AND OTHER

Sales in this division totaled $576.42 million for the quarter, an increase of 1.63% compared to the fourth quarter of 2006.

The growth in this division was due to higher unit sales.

PUBLICATIONS

Publications sales showed noteworthy growth, increasing 14.62%. This was due to a significant increase in the number of units sold, particularly our sales of men's and women's magazines as well as health-oriented publications and the 2008 astrological guides.

This division's participation as a percentage of total sales went from 3.10% in 4Q06 to 3.42% in the fourth quarter of 2007.

GROSS INCOME

During the fourth quarter of the year, Grupo Casa Saba's gross income rose 3.56% to reach $794.85 million. The company's gross margin decreased by 3 b.p., to 11.19%, in spite of the highly competitive environment.

OPERATING EXPENSES

Operating expenses reached $378.73 million, an increase of 8.69% versus the fourth quarter of 2006. These expenses represented 5.33% of our total sales.

OPERATING INCOME

Operating income decreased slightly, by 0.71%, to reach $416.11 million. The operating margin was 5.86%, which was 27 b.p. lower than the 6.13% margin posted in the fourth quarter of 2006.

OPERATING INCOME PLUS DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION

Operating income plus depreciation and amortization for 4Q07 was $429.98 million, an increase of 2.96% compared to the fourth quarter of 2006. Depreciation and amortization for the period was $13.86 million.

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the fourth quarter of 2007 was $661.63 million, an increase of 3.45% versus 4Q06.

COMPREHENSIVE COST OF FINANCING

During the fourth quarter of 2007, GCS's comprehensive cost of financing (CCF) of $1.91 million was lower than the $3.61 million registered in 4Q06, and was the result of a lower charge in the monetary position account.

OTHER EXPENSES (INCOME)

During the fourth quarter of 2007, the Company registered an income of $7.17 million in other expenses (income). The expenses (income) from this line item were derived from activities that are distinct from the company's everyday business operations.

TAX PROVISIONS

During the fourth quarter, tax provisions were $37.47 million. These provisions include: $74.84 million in current income tax, $24.46 million in the asset tax for the period and -$61.82 million in deferred income tax.

NET INCOME

GCS's net income for the fourth quarter was $383.90 million, a slight decrease of 2.70% versus the fourth quarter of 2006. The net margin for the period was 5.41%.

WORKING CAPITAL

During the fourth quarter of 2007 and compared to the fourth quarter of 2006, the Group's accounts receivable and inventory days increased by 3.2 and 8.3 days, to reach 58.8 and 67.1 days, respectively. In addition, our accounts payable days increased by 5.9 days, compared to 4Q06, to reach 59.1 days.

Contacts:

GRUPO CASA SABA IR Communications:

Rodrigo Echagaray, IRO Jesus Martinez Rojas

+52 (55) 5284-6672 +52 (55) 5644-1247

rechagar@casasaba.com jesus@irandpr.com

Alejandro Sadurni, CFO

asadurni@casasaba.com


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SOURCE Grupo Casa Saba, S.A.B. de C.V.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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