Saudi's Jarir Q1 net up 11.3 pct despite slower sales growth

Reuters Middle East

DUBAI, April 6 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Jarir Marketing posted an 11.3 percent increase in first-quarter net profit on Sunday, although slower year-on-year sales growth meant the retailer marginally missed the average view of analysts.

Jarir made 201.3 million riyals ($53.7 million) in the first three months of 2014, compared with 180.8 million riyals in the same period a year ago, it said in a stock market announcement.

The figure was slightly below the average estimate of seven analysts polled by Reuters, who had forecast a net profit for the period of 206.6 million riyals.

Jarir said it estimated turnover in the first quarter to be 1.4 billion riyals, up 5.2 percent year-on-year. The growth was slower than that posted in the same quarter last year because of a decline in computer sales, it said without giving details.

The retailer plans to open at least seven new showrooms in 2014, of which two began operations in the first three months of the year, the statement added. ($1 = 3.7504 Saudi Riyals) (Reporting by David French; Editing by Andrew Torchia)