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Hites Gains as Drop in Bad Loans Triggers Profit: Santiago Mover

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Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Empresas Hites SA, a Chilean department store operator, rose for a seventh day today, its longest streak since February, after declining defaults on its in-store credit cards boosted profits.

The stock advanced 2.5 percent to 446 pesos, the highest price in almost four months. It has gained 20 percent in the past seven days, compared with a 1 percent advance in the benchmark IPSA index over that time.

“Hites has been rising on its quarterly results,” Aldo Morales, an analyst at BICE Inversiones, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Provisions at its credit business fell significantly and its stores posted higher margins.”

Hites reported Aug. 12 in a regulatory filing that its second-quarter profit rose 34 percent to 4.29 billion pesos ($8.3 million) from 3.2 billion pesos a year earlier. Provisions to cover for non-performing loans at its in-store credit card operation, which accounted for 74 percent of earnings before items in the quarter, fell 12 percent from a year before.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduardo Thomson in Santiago at ethomson1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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