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Grupo Casa Saba Announces Quarterly Earnings Report 2Q09
Date:7/27/2009

MEXICO CITY, July 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Grupo Casa Saba (NYSE: SAB) ("Saba", "GCS", "the Company" or "the Group"), one of the leading Mexican distributors of pharmaceutical products, health and beauty aids, personal care and consumer goods, general merchandise, publications and other products, announces its consolidated financial and operating results for the second quarter of 2009.

Financial Highlights:

(All figures are expressed in millions of Mexican pesos of purchasing power as of June 2009. Comparisons are made with the same period of 2008, unless otherwise stated. Figures may vary due to rounding practices.)

    - Sales for the quarter were $7,579.09 million, an increase of 8.90%
    - Gross income rose 12.42% to reach $832.64 million
    - The gross margin for the quarter grew to 10.99% compared to 10.64% in
      2Q08
    - Quarterly operating expenses as a percentage of sales were 7.73%
    - Operating income increased 2.75% versus 2Q08
    - The operating margin for the quarter was 3.26%
    - Operating income plus depreciation and amortization for the period was
      $269.88 million, an increase of 4.17% compared to 2Q08
    - Net profit for the quarter was $147.03 million
    - Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter was $199.15 million

                              QUARTERLY EARNINGS

NET SALES

During the second quarter of 2009, GCS's sales were $7,579.09 million, an increase of 8.90%.


    SALES BY DIVISION

PRIVATE PHARMA

Sales in our Private Pharma division rose 10.85% during the second quarter of 2009, as a result of the consolidation of investments that were made within the sector. This includes the acquisition of Drogasmil Medicamento e Perfumeria, S.A., in Brazil in May 2008 as well as the growth in our retail sales division in Mexico. In addition, our commercial strategies also had a positive effect on our sales.

Sales for this division reached $6,457.01 million versus $5,825.07 million in 2Q08 and represented 85.20% of the Group's total sales.

GOVERNMENT PHARMA

Sales in our Government Pharma division increased 5.63% to $288.41 million compared to $273.04 million in the second quarter of 2008. This was mainly due to an increase in our participation in the bidding processes of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS), the Instituto de Seguridad Social del Estado de Mexico y Municipios (ISSEMYM) and the National Center for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS (CENSIDA by its Spanish acronym).

As a percentage of total sales, this division went from representing 3.92% in 2Q08 to 3.81% during the second quarter of 2009.

HEALTH, BEAUTY, CONSUMER GOODS, GENERAL MERCHANDISE AND OTHER

Sales in our Health, Beauty, Consumer Goods, General Merchandise and Other division reached $653.26 million, an increase of 1.93% versus the $640.89 million registered during the second quarter of 2008. This was due to commercial agreements that enabled us to increase promotions and discounts which, in turn, increased our sales.

This division represented 8.61% of GCS's total sales in 2Q09, a decrease compared to the same period of the previous year when it accounted for 9.21%. This decline was due to the significant increase in the participation of the Private Pharma division as a percentage of total sales.

PUBLICATIONS

Publication sales decreased 18.15% during the quarter, primarily as a result of lower unit sales. This decrease in units 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 3.17% in 2Q08 to 2.38% in the second quarter of 2009.

There were marginal changes in the sales mix during the quarter. Private Pharma sales represented 85.20% of total sales (compared to 83.70% during the second quarter of 2008), while Government Pharma accounted for 3.81% (versus 3.92% during the second quarter of 2008). Health, Beauty, Consumer Goods, General Merchandise and Other represented 8.61% (compared to 9.21% in the second quarter of 2008) and Publications made up the remaining 2.38% (versus 3.17% during the second quarter of 2008).

GROSS INCOME

During the second quarter of the year, Grupo Casa Saba's gross income increased 12.42% versus the same period of the previous year to reach $832.64 million. The company's gross margin improved 0.35%, from 10.64% in 2Q08 to 10.99% during the current period. This was the result of the higher sales derived from recent investments in our Private Pharma division.

OPERATING EXPENSES

Operating expenses reached $585.52 million, an increase of 17.07% compared to the second quarter of 2008. This was due to the investments that were made in the Private Pharma division. Operating expenses represented 7.73% of our total sales in 2Q09 compared to 7.19% during the same period of the previous year.

OPERATING INCOME

Operating income increased 2.75%, as a result of the growth in sales which offset the increase in operating expenses. The operating margin was 3.26%, 0.20% lower than the 3.46% margin registered in the second quarter of 2008.

OPERATING INCOME PLUS DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION

Operating income plus depreciation and amortization for 2Q09 was $269.88 million, an increase of 4.17% compared to the second quarter of 2008. Depreciation and amortization for the period was $22.76 million, 22.51% higher than in the second quarter of 2008.

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the second quarter of 2009 was $199.15 million.

COMPREHENSIVE COST OF FINANCING

During the period, GCS's comprehensive cost of financing (CCF) rose to $58.63 million. This was primarily due to an increase in the amount of interest income paid.

These interest payments are related to the long-term credit that was obtained as a result of the acquisition in Brazil as well as the interest that was generated from the utilization of short-term credits for our operations in both Mexico and Brazil.

OTHER EXPENSES (INCOME)

During the second quarter of 2009, the Company registered an income of $2.26 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 second quarter, tax provisions rose to $43.72 million, $55.04 million of which were related to income tax payments and ($11.32) million were attributed to deferred income tax.

NET INCOME

GCS's net income for the second quarter was $147.03 million, a decrease of 30.02% compared to the second quarter of 2008.

The net margin for the period was 1.94%, a decline from the 3.02% net margin registered during the second quarter of 2008.

WORKING CAPITAL

During the second quarter of 2009, our accounts receivable days increased by 7.2 days from 2Q08 to reach 67.8 days. In addition, our accounts payable days rose by 4.0 days versus 2Q08, to reach 52.0 days. Finally, our inventory days were 55.0 days, an increase of 1.1 days compared to the same period of the previous year.

    Contacts:

    GRUPO CASA SABA
    Patrik Zielinski
    +52 (55) 5284-6623
    pzielinski@casasaba.com or,

    Sandra Yatsko
    +52 (55) 5284-6698
    syatsko@casasaba.com.

    IR Communications:
    Jesus Martinez Rojas
    +52 (55) 5644-1247
    jesus@irandpr.com

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SOURCE Grupo Casa Saba
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