South American Retail Giant Ripley Shows Signs of Recovery

One of South America’s most prominent retail conglomerates continues to show signs of recovery from the pandemic’s effects on its business, reporting Q1 revenues of $457 billion Chilean pesos ($548 million), an increase of 21.7 percent year-on-year, a record figure for first quarter growth.

The Santiago, Chile-based company’s consolidated income rose to 11.4 billion Chilean pesos from 9.89 billion, representing a 15.2 percent increase year-on-year. This suggests the company’s results are almost back to pre-pandemic levels. In the first quarter of 2020, before the full business impact of Covid-19 had reached its principal markets of Chile and Peru, the retailer had registered a consolidated income of 12 billion Chilean pesos.

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The company attributed its latest positive results mainly to the growth of three business units: retail, banking, and real estate. Revenue for its retail unit, which includes the fashion and beauty categories of its department store segment, grew 17.6 percent year-on-year, driven by a strong recovery in physical sales. Banking and real estate grew 33.1 and 79.4 percent, respectively.

EBITDA reached 27.6 billion Chilean pesos, double the amount achieved during the same period in the previous year.

In addition to the department store segment, with 45 stores in Chile and 30 in Peru, the company also has banking and mall operations in both countries. It reportedly closed operations in Colombia a few years before the pandemic hit.

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