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Ripley Rises Chile as Inventory Management Lifts Profits

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Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Ripley Corp SA advanced for the first time in five days after the company reported a 40 percent increase in second-quarter profit, citing inventory management improvements at its stores.

Ripley, Chile’s third-largest department store operator, advanced 4.9 percent to 430 pesos at the close in Santiago, the highest since July 1. The country’s benchmark IPSA index gained 1.2 percent.

The company, which also has stores in Peru and Colombia, posted second-quarter net income of 9.61 billion pesos ($13.5 million), compared with 6.9 billion pesos in the same period last year, according to a regulatory filing after the close of trading yesterday. Better inventory management and a focus on selling its own clothing brands helped boost the margin on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization to 8 percent from 6.9 percent, Ripley said.

“The strong growth was chiefly attributable to a more efficient company,” Banco Santander analysts Cristian Jadue, Reinaldo Santana and Tobias Stingelin, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients today. “We expect a favorable market, as results surpassed expectations, thus supporting our positive view of the stock.”

Banco Penta, BICE Inversiones, BTG Pactual and Corp Research SA, also said that results surpassed expectations. Banchile-Citi, the joint research department of Banco de Chile and Citigroup Inc., raised its recommendation on Ripley to buy from the equivalent of hold.

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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