Elektra Reports Record EBITDA in First Quarter

* Revenue Up 10%, EBITDA Up 15%

* Shareholder Dividend Up 15%



Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.

    MEXICO CITY, April 23 /PRNewswire/ --
 Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. (BMV: Elektra, NYSE:   EKT), Latin America's leading
 specialty retailer and consumer finance company, today reported record
 financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001.  This is the
 company's seventeenth consecutive quarter of record EBITDA results.
     In the first quarter, revenue increased by 10.4 percent to the equivalent
 of US $366 million, from US $331 million in the first quarter of 2000.  EBITDA
 reached a record US $67 million, a 14.8 percent increase from US $58 million
 reported a year ago.  Operating income increased 16.4 percent to
 US $47 million, from last year's first quarter of US $ 40 million.
     "Elektra's results were on target, as planned.  They reflect our revised
 2001 operating strategy, which is designed to accommodate a leaner economy.
 Although more conservative than our plan for the latter half of last year, we
 continue to project profitable growth for 2001.  The first quarter results
 reflect our ability to control growth and operating costs.  We will be
 conservative, accumulate cash and be prepared to take advantage of acquisition
 situations that a weakened economy may generate.  We monitor the overall
 economic and political environment very closely and are able to adjust
 Elektra's operations to react quickly to economic indicators and our own
 internal indicators," said Javier Sarro, Chief Executive Officer of Elektra.
 
     Highlights For The First Quarter of 2001
     *  Record Revenue, EBITDA and Operating Income.
     *  17th consecutive quarter of record EBITDA.
     *  Gross profit margin reaches a record 45.3 percent.
     *  First quarter gross and same-store contribution increased 11.5 percent
         and 4.1 percent.
     *  SG&A rose 7.7 percent year-on-year, below the 10.4 increase in
         revenues.
     *  Ps. 650 million securitized notes successfully placed.
     *  US $15 million dividend approved, 15.4 percent above 2000 dividend.
 
     Alvaro Rodriguez, Chief Financial Officer of Elektra, added, "We are
 working to shorten the average duration of our credit portfolio and improve
 the quality of earnings.  The advantage of this conservative approach, which
 Elektra has activated several times in the past, as recently as a year ago, is
 that we assume less credit risk and are positioned for profitability even
 under the most difficult economic conditions.  Our strategy is also flexible,
 so if conditions warrant, we can easily lengthen the credit portfolio's
 duration and drive sales revenue."
     "During the first quarter, we issued Ps. 650 million in asset-backed
 notes.  This marked our seventh such offering, each of which has been well
 received by investors.  These proceeds will be used primarily to finance our
 consumer credit operations."
     During the quarter SG&A rose 7.7 percent year-on-year, and only 7 percent
 if we exclude severance payments for the quarter, below the 10.4 percent
 increase in sales over the same period.  This improvement reflects the
 successful beginning of the Company's cost reduction program and is a clear
 indication of the importance management is placing on expenses.  The program
 has already produced year-on-year declines of 6.4 percent and 3.4 percent in
 core operating and delivery freight expenses, two expense lines which
 contributed to the large increases reported during 2000.  The Company expects
 this program to continue to reduce costs in the quarters ahead.
 
     Operating Performance
 
     Millions of pesos(1) and dollars(2) except percentages and per share
      amounts
                                        1Q00            1Q01      Increase
     Net Revenue
     Pesos                             3,142           3,469           10%
     US $                                331             366
     EBITDA
     Pesos                               553             636           15%
     US $                                 58              67
     Net Income
     Pesos                               329             255          -22%
     US $                                 35              27
     Earnings per Share
     Pesos per CPO3                 Ps. 0.27        Ps. 0.21          -22%
     US $ per ADR3                                  US$ 0.28      US $0.22
 
     1.  Constant pesos of March 31,2001 purchasing power
     2.  Convenience translation at March 31, 2001 exchange rate of Ps. 9.48
          per US dollar
     3.  Calculation based on 1,203 million CPO's (120.3 million ADR
          equivalents) outstanding at March 31, 2001, and 1,223.2 million CPO's
          (122 million ADR's) outstanding at March 31, 2000.
 
     Currency amounts in Mexican pesos (Ps.) are translated into US dollars
 (US$) at the exchange rate of Ps. 9.48 per US$.
 
     Operational Breakdown for the Quarter
 
     Branded Store Formats
     Elektra Merchandise sales in Mexico and Latin America rose 11.6 percent to
 Ps. 2,179 million compared with Ps. 1,953 million for 1Q00.  Same-store
 contribution and same store sales grew 8 and 10.5 percent, respectively.
 Elektra's merchandise gross margin reached 31.7 percent for 1Q01, a 130 basis
 point increase compared to 1Q01.  This was largely due to the gradual
 improvement in the Latin American operations.
     Salinas y Rocha merchandise revenue for the first quarter rose 5.1 percent
 to Ps. 205 million.  Gross margin was 33.0 percent at the end of 1Q01, exactly
 in line with the one reported during 1Q00.  This business unit contributed
 6 percent of the total sales during the quarter.
     THE ONE's merchandise sales for the first quarter decreased 12.5 percent
 to Ps. 119 million from Ps. 136 million in 1Q00.  Same-store contribution and
 same-store sales decreased 26.1 and 13.5 percent, respectively, over the same
 period.  This is largely the result of the negative impact upon these figures
 brought by those stores which continued to operate under the Hecali format
 throughout the last twelve months, as their inventory was being liquidated.
 The One conversions are now complete.
 
     Table 1:  Same-store contribution (1Q00-1Q01)
 
                                                         1Q00           1Q01
 
     Elektra                                             4.0%           8.0%
     Salinas y Rocha                                      N.D         -11.5%
     THE ONE/Hecali                                     -4.5%         -26.1%
 
     TOTAL                                               3.5%           4.1%
 
 
     Table 2:  Same-store sales (1Q00-1Q01)
 
                                                         1Q00           1Q01
 
     Elektra                                             0.3%          10.5%
     Salinas y Rocha                                      N.D           5.8
     THE ONE/Hecali                                     -3.0%         -13.5%
 
     TOTAL                                              -0.2%           9.0%
 
     Branded Products and Services
     Elektra's extended warranty program, Milenia, generated a 51.5 percent
 increase in revenue in the first quarter to Ps. 51 million, compared to
 Ps. 34 million in 1Q00.  The number of product lines in which Milenia
 warranties are offered increased during the quarter.
     Fotofacil continued to operate 180 mini-labs.  For the quarter, Fotofacil
 reported revenues equivalent to US$ 3.6 million, representing a 42 percent
 increase compared to 1Q00, with a gross contribution margin of 38 percent.
     Unefon (BMV: UNEFONA) began operations in Tampico in March 31st.  This
 increased its coverage to a total of thirteen cities.  During 2001, Unefon
 plans to provide service in nineteen cities.
     To date Elektra has sold more than 200,000 handsets and is selling an
 average of 3.8 handsets per store per day at 330 stores.  Elektra generates
 revenues on phone sales and pre-paid calling cards (60 million minutes of
 airtime sold during 1Q01).
     e-commerce. The new version of the www.elektra.com.mx page was
 successfully launched during the first days of April, 2001.
 
     New Products and Services
     As of the end of 1Q01, the new PC line of products was available at
 300 kiosks in Elektra and Salinas y Rocha stores.  Approximately 1,500 PCs and
 more than 2,300 peripherals were sold to date.  Elektra expects to have kiosks
 in almost all Elektra and Salinas y Rocha stores by the end of 2001.
     The new, affordable home mortgage product sold through Credimax continues
 its final pilot test phase in Toluca.  To date, 20 mortgages have been sold.
 Elektra provides mortgage application, credit investigation, and collection
 services for home mortgages provided by the government's FOVI program.
 
     Financial Services
     Credit revenue increased 14.2 percent to Ps. 784 million from
 Ps. 687 million reported in 1Q00.  Credit gross margin for the quarter was
 76.8 percent compared to 78.6 percent in the same period of the prior year and
 65.9 percent during 4Q00.  At the end of the quarter, Elektra had a total of
 1.9 million active accounts in its consumer credit program.  Gross customer
 accounts receivable reached Ps. 4.3 billion compared to Ps. 3.3 billion at the
 end of 1Q00.  The average term of the account receivable at the end of 1Q01
 was 43 weeks, a one week decrease from 44 weeks at the end of 4Q00 and an
 increase from 33 weeks at the end of 1Q00.
     During the quarter we returned to a conservative credit stance, the same
 position we maintained during the first half of 2000.  Our merchandise sales
 mix for the quarter was 59 percent credit and 41 percent cash, reflecting our
 promotion of terms ranging between 7 and 9 months.  We expect to gradually
 continue to reduce our average term.
     Dinero en Minutos, Elektra's international money transfer agreement with
 Western Union, recorded an 11 percent decrease in revenue, to Ps. 97 million,
 compared to Ps. 109 million in 1Q00.  The decrease resulted from a 1.1 percent
 reduction in the number of operations.
     Dinero Express, Elektra's intra-Mexico money transfer service, recorded a
 19.2 percent increase in revenue during 1Q01, led by a 26 percent increase in
 the number of operations.  Behind this healthy pace in volume growth are three
 key factors: (1) the stores are located close to the customers; (2) customers
 know they can have almost immediate access to the money transfer from Monday
 to Sunday, 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., and (3) the "Frequent Client" loyalty
 program, customers of this service receive additional benefits through an
 increased usage of Dinero Express.
     At the end of 1Q01, Guardadito savings accounts surpassed the 1.6 million
 level, a 33 percent increase compared to the level reported in 1Q00. Average
 balance per account is Ps. 270.
 
     Dividend Payment
     During the first quarter, Elektra Shareholders approved a net dividend of
 Ps. 0.116 per CPO, or US$ 0.121 per ADR, totaling  Ps. 142.5 million,
 equivalent to US$ 15 million, which represents 6.1 percent of Elektra's EBITDA
 for 2000.  The dividend was paid on April 20, 2001.
 
     Balance Sheet and CAPEX
     Total interest-bearing liabilities as of March 31, 2001 were the
 equivalent of US $438 million, a 2.7 percent decrease compared to March 31,
 2000.  Net debt at the end of the quarter was the equivalent of
 US $340 million, an 8.6 percent decrease compared to the end of 1Q00.
     Capital expenditures in the first quarter were US $8.5 million,
 principally for store remodeling and the acquisition of store and credit
 equipment.  Our current estimated CAPEX for the year is approximately
 US $75 million.
     During 1Q01, there were 14 store openings (7 Elektra, 2 The One and
 5 Bodega de Remate), and there were 12 store closings (11 Hecalis and
 1 Salinas y Rocha).  The 11 Hecalis that were closed were locations that did
 not meet The One's format specifications.  Overall, there were 2 net store
 openings during the quarter, bringing the total number of stores to 952 as of
 the end of 1Q01.
     Elektra's 18.3 percent indirect investment in TV Azteca is shown on the
 balance sheet under the equity method, with a value of US$ 58.8 million.
 Effective 4Q99, the Company changed its quarterly reporting to reflect the
 income in equity and amortization of goodwill resulting from this investment
 in its income statement.  Previously, the investment was carried on the
 balance sheet at 80 percent of market value, net of debt in Azteca Holdings,
 and changes in the market value were direct charges to equity.
 
     With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in
 this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks
 identified in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
     Elektra -- Progress Through Affordable Goods and Services
 
     Grupo Elektra is Latin America's leading specialty retailer and consumer
 finance company.  Elektra sells goods and services through its Elektra,
 Salinas y Rocha, and THE ONE stores and over the Internet.  The Group operates
 almost 1,000 stores in Mexico and five other countries in Latin America, as
 well as its virtual stores, offering household appliances, furniture, and
 clothing.  Financial services include consumer credit, money transfers,
 extended warranties, servicing of home mortgages, and savings accounts.
 Elektra also holds a major indirect investment in TV Azteca, one of two
 broadcast television networks in Mexico.
 
 

SOURCE Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.
    MEXICO CITY, April 23 /PRNewswire/ --
 Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. (BMV: Elektra, NYSE:   EKT), Latin America's leading
 specialty retailer and consumer finance company, today reported record
 financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001.  This is the
 company's seventeenth consecutive quarter of record EBITDA results.
     In the first quarter, revenue increased by 10.4 percent to the equivalent
 of US $366 million, from US $331 million in the first quarter of 2000.  EBITDA
 reached a record US $67 million, a 14.8 percent increase from US $58 million
 reported a year ago.  Operating income increased 16.4 percent to
 US $47 million, from last year's first quarter of US $ 40 million.
     "Elektra's results were on target, as planned.  They reflect our revised
 2001 operating strategy, which is designed to accommodate a leaner economy.
 Although more conservative than our plan for the latter half of last year, we
 continue to project profitable growth for 2001.  The first quarter results
 reflect our ability to control growth and operating costs.  We will be
 conservative, accumulate cash and be prepared to take advantage of acquisition
 situations that a weakened economy may generate.  We monitor the overall
 economic and political environment very closely and are able to adjust
 Elektra's operations to react quickly to economic indicators and our own
 internal indicators," said Javier Sarro, Chief Executive Officer of Elektra.
 
     Highlights For The First Quarter of 2001
     *  Record Revenue, EBITDA and Operating Income.
     *  17th consecutive quarter of record EBITDA.
     *  Gross profit margin reaches a record 45.3 percent.
     *  First quarter gross and same-store contribution increased 11.5 percent
         and 4.1 percent.
     *  SG&A rose 7.7 percent year-on-year, below the 10.4 increase in
         revenues.
     *  Ps. 650 million securitized notes successfully placed.
     *  US $15 million dividend approved, 15.4 percent above 2000 dividend.
 
     Alvaro Rodriguez, Chief Financial Officer of Elektra, added, "We are
 working to shorten the average duration of our credit portfolio and improve
 the quality of earnings.  The advantage of this conservative approach, which
 Elektra has activated several times in the past, as recently as a year ago, is
 that we assume less credit risk and are positioned for profitability even
 under the most difficult economic conditions.  Our strategy is also flexible,
 so if conditions warrant, we can easily lengthen the credit portfolio's
 duration and drive sales revenue."
     "During the first quarter, we issued Ps. 650 million in asset-backed
 notes.  This marked our seventh such offering, each of which has been well
 received by investors.  These proceeds will be used primarily to finance our
 consumer credit operations."
     During the quarter SG&A rose 7.7 percent year-on-year, and only 7 percent
 if we exclude severance payments for the quarter, below the 10.4 percent
 increase in sales over the same period.  This improvement reflects the
 successful beginning of the Company's cost reduction program and is a clear
 indication of the importance management is placing on expenses.  The program
 has already produced year-on-year declines of 6.4 percent and 3.4 percent in
 core operating and delivery freight expenses, two expense lines which
 contributed to the large increases reported during 2000.  The Company expects
 this program to continue to reduce costs in the quarters ahead.
 
     Operating Performance
 
     Millions of pesos(1) and dollars(2) except percentages and per share
      amounts
                                        1Q00            1Q01      Increase
     Net Revenue
     Pesos                             3,142           3,469           10%
     US $                                331             366
     EBITDA
     Pesos                               553             636           15%
     US $                                 58              67
     Net Income
     Pesos                               329             255          -22%
     US $                                 35              27
     Earnings per Share
     Pesos per CPO3                 Ps. 0.27        Ps. 0.21          -22%
     US $ per ADR3                                  US$ 0.28      US $0.22
 
     1.  Constant pesos of March 31,2001 purchasing power
     2.  Convenience translation at March 31, 2001 exchange rate of Ps. 9.48
          per US dollar
     3.  Calculation based on 1,203 million CPO's (120.3 million ADR
          equivalents) outstanding at March 31, 2001, and 1,223.2 million CPO's
          (122 million ADR's) outstanding at March 31, 2000.
 
     Currency amounts in Mexican pesos (Ps.) are translated into US dollars
 (US$) at the exchange rate of Ps. 9.48 per US$.
 
     Operational Breakdown for the Quarter
 
     Branded Store Formats
     Elektra Merchandise sales in Mexico and Latin America rose 11.6 percent to
 Ps. 2,179 million compared with Ps. 1,953 million for 1Q00.  Same-store
 contribution and same store sales grew 8 and 10.5 percent, respectively.
 Elektra's merchandise gross margin reached 31.7 percent for 1Q01, a 130 basis
 point increase compared to 1Q01.  This was largely due to the gradual
 improvement in the Latin American operations.
     Salinas y Rocha merchandise revenue for the first quarter rose 5.1 percent
 to Ps. 205 million.  Gross margin was 33.0 percent at the end of 1Q01, exactly
 in line with the one reported during 1Q00.  This business unit contributed
 6 percent of the total sales during the quarter.
     THE ONE's merchandise sales for the first quarter decreased 12.5 percent
 to Ps. 119 million from Ps. 136 million in 1Q00.  Same-store contribution and
 same-store sales decreased 26.1 and 13.5 percent, respectively, over the same
 period.  This is largely the result of the negative impact upon these figures
 brought by those stores which continued to operate under the Hecali format
 throughout the last twelve months, as their inventory was being liquidated.
 The One conversions are now complete.
 
     Table 1:  Same-store contribution (1Q00-1Q01)
 
                                                         1Q00           1Q01
 
     Elektra                                             4.0%           8.0%
     Salinas y Rocha                                      N.D         -11.5%
     THE ONE/Hecali                                     -4.5%         -26.1%
 
     TOTAL                                               3.5%           4.1%
 
 
     Table 2:  Same-store sales (1Q00-1Q01)
 
                                                         1Q00           1Q01
 
     Elektra                                             0.3%          10.5%
     Salinas y Rocha                                      N.D           5.8
     THE ONE/Hecali                                     -3.0%         -13.5%
 
     TOTAL                                              -0.2%           9.0%
 
     Branded Products and Services
     Elektra's extended warranty program, Milenia, generated a 51.5 percent
 increase in revenue in the first quarter to Ps. 51 million, compared to
 Ps. 34 million in 1Q00.  The number of product lines in which Milenia
 warranties are offered increased during the quarter.
     Fotofacil continued to operate 180 mini-labs.  For the quarter, Fotofacil
 reported revenues equivalent to US$ 3.6 million, representing a 42 percent
 increase compared to 1Q00, with a gross contribution margin of 38 percent.
     Unefon (BMV: UNEFONA) began operations in Tampico in March 31st.  This
 increased its coverage to a total of thirteen cities.  During 2001, Unefon
 plans to provide service in nineteen cities.
     To date Elektra has sold more than 200,000 handsets and is selling an
 average of 3.8 handsets per store per day at 330 stores.  Elektra generates
 revenues on phone sales and pre-paid calling cards (60 million minutes of
 airtime sold during 1Q01).
     e-commerce. The new version of the www.elektra.com.mx page was
 successfully launched during the first days of April, 2001.
 
     New Products and Services
     As of the end of 1Q01, the new PC line of products was available at
 300 kiosks in Elektra and Salinas y Rocha stores.  Approximately 1,500 PCs and
 more than 2,300 peripherals were sold to date.  Elektra expects to have kiosks
 in almost all Elektra and Salinas y Rocha stores by the end of 2001.
     The new, affordable home mortgage product sold through Credimax continues
 its final pilot test phase in Toluca.  To date, 20 mortgages have been sold.
 Elektra provides mortgage application, credit investigation, and collection
 services for home mortgages provided by the government's FOVI program.
 
     Financial Services
     Credit revenue increased 14.2 percent to Ps. 784 million from
 Ps. 687 million reported in 1Q00.  Credit gross margin for the quarter was
 76.8 percent compared to 78.6 percent in the same period of the prior year and
 65.9 percent during 4Q00.  At the end of the quarter, Elektra had a total of
 1.9 million active accounts in its consumer credit program.  Gross customer
 accounts receivable reached Ps. 4.3 billion compared to Ps. 3.3 billion at the
 end of 1Q00.  The average term of the account receivable at the end of 1Q01
 was 43 weeks, a one week decrease from 44 weeks at the end of 4Q00 and an
 increase from 33 weeks at the end of 1Q00.
     During the quarter we returned to a conservative credit stance, the same
 position we maintained during the first half of 2000.  Our merchandise sales
 mix for the quarter was 59 percent credit and 41 percent cash, reflecting our
 promotion of terms ranging between 7 and 9 months.  We expect to gradually
 continue to reduce our average term.
     Dinero en Minutos, Elektra's international money transfer agreement with
 Western Union, recorded an 11 percent decrease in revenue, to Ps. 97 million,
 compared to Ps. 109 million in 1Q00.  The decrease resulted from a 1.1 percent
 reduction in the number of operations.
     Dinero Express, Elektra's intra-Mexico money transfer service, recorded a
 19.2 percent increase in revenue during 1Q01, led by a 26 percent increase in
 the number of operations.  Behind this healthy pace in volume growth are three
 key factors: (1) the stores are located close to the customers; (2) customers
 know they can have almost immediate access to the money transfer from Monday
 to Sunday, 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., and (3) the "Frequent Client" loyalty
 program, customers of this service receive additional benefits through an
 increased usage of Dinero Express.
     At the end of 1Q01, Guardadito savings accounts surpassed the 1.6 million
 level, a 33 percent increase compared to the level reported in 1Q00. Average
 balance per account is Ps. 270.
 
     Dividend Payment
     During the first quarter, Elektra Shareholders approved a net dividend of
 Ps. 0.116 per CPO, or US$ 0.121 per ADR, totaling  Ps. 142.5 million,
 equivalent to US$ 15 million, which represents 6.1 percent of Elektra's EBITDA
 for 2000.  The dividend was paid on April 20, 2001.
 
     Balance Sheet and CAPEX
     Total interest-bearing liabilities as of March 31, 2001 were the
 equivalent of US $438 million, a 2.7 percent decrease compared to March 31,
 2000.  Net debt at the end of the quarter was the equivalent of
 US $340 million, an 8.6 percent decrease compared to the end of 1Q00.
     Capital expenditures in the first quarter were US $8.5 million,
 principally for store remodeling and the acquisition of store and credit
 equipment.  Our current estimated CAPEX for the year is approximately
 US $75 million.
     During 1Q01, there were 14 store openings (7 Elektra, 2 The One and
 5 Bodega de Remate), and there were 12 store closings (11 Hecalis and
 1 Salinas y Rocha).  The 11 Hecalis that were closed were locations that did
 not meet The One's format specifications.  Overall, there were 2 net store
 openings during the quarter, bringing the total number of stores to 952 as of
 the end of 1Q01.
     Elektra's 18.3 percent indirect investment in TV Azteca is shown on the
 balance sheet under the equity method, with a value of US$ 58.8 million.
 Effective 4Q99, the Company changed its quarterly reporting to reflect the
 income in equity and amortization of goodwill resulting from this investment
 in its income statement.  Previously, the investment was carried on the
 balance sheet at 80 percent of market value, net of debt in Azteca Holdings,
 and changes in the market value were direct charges to equity.
 
     With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in
 this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks
 identified in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
     Elektra -- Progress Through Affordable Goods and Services
 
     Grupo Elektra is Latin America's leading specialty retailer and consumer
 finance company.  Elektra sells goods and services through its Elektra,
 Salinas y Rocha, and THE ONE stores and over the Internet.  The Group operates
 almost 1,000 stores in Mexico and five other countries in Latin America, as
 well as its virtual stores, offering household appliances, furniture, and
 clothing.  Financial services include consumer credit, money transfers,
 extended warranties, servicing of home mortgages, and savings accounts.
 Elektra also holds a major indirect investment in TV Azteca, one of two
 broadcast television networks in Mexico.
 
 SOURCE  Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V.