SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- Lotte Shopping Co. said Thursday its first-quarter net profit fell 16.4 percent from a year earlier amid weak consumption and an economic slowdown, though its operating profit continued its upward trend from last year.
Net profit came to 57.8 billion won (US$43.6 million) in the January-March period, down from 69.1 billion won posted in the same period last year, according to the retail giant's regulatory filing.
Sales also declined 5.5 percent on-year to 3.56 trillion won, but the operating profit was up 63.7 percent to 112.5 billion won.
The company said Lotte Department Store, Lotte Mart and e-commerce had a strong performance but electronics distribution arm Hi-Mart and Lotte Home Shopping showed a poor performance due to a slump in the real estate market amid rate hikes and a six-month suspension of early morning home shopping broadcasting from February.
By business, Lotte Department Store saw its sales and operating profit jump 7 percent and 21.1 percent on-year to 796 billion won and 131 billion won, respectively, in the first quarter.
The department store attributed the strong sales to an increase in offline consumption and an improvement in overseas sales after Southeast Asian countries returned to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lotte Shopping noted it plans to open a shopping complex in Hanoi in the second half, expanding its business in Vietnam.
Lotte Mart and Lotte Supermarket each saw its sales go down 2.4 percent and 6.7 percent on-year, but its operating profit was up 91.8 percent and 234.8 percent thanks to an improvement in their profitability management system.
The e-commerce department also enjoyed a 10.5 percent on-year increase in sales and reduced its operating loss for the third consecutive quarter.
Lotte Cultureworks, the operator of Lotte Cinema, also said its sales jumped 54.3 percent on-year thanks to the increased number of moviegoers amid the popularity of Japanese animations, such as "The First Slam Dunk" and "Suzume."
On the other hand, sales of Lotte Hi-mart sunk 25.6 percent and Lotte Homeshopping 16 percent on-year in the first quarter.
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