Store group Falabella suffered a profit fall in its first quarter as global economic turmoil took a toll.

The retailer, which runs supermarkets, home improvement stores and department stores in Argentina, Colombia and Peru as well as its domestic market of Chile, reported like-for-like declines of between 2.7 per cent and 10.1 per cent at its chains, apart from its
Chilean supermarkets, which notched up growth of 3.5 per cent.

The devaluation of the Chilean peso against the dollar hit department store margins and a property and construction slowdown undermined home improvement.

Falabella, whose interests include malls and banks, posted a net quarterly profit of CLP38.84bn (£44.5m) on sales up 7.7 per cent to CLP847.22bn (£971m).