The year of2017 began well for Sonae. In a challenging quarter in year-on-year comparison,we grew in all businesses ensuring a profitability in line with ourexpectations. On a consolidated basis, turnover increased 6% and the underlyingEBITDA grew 12.7%, highlighting the positive evolution in specialised retail.
Along withour positive operating performance, we moved ahead along our strategic growthavenues, concluding the acquisition of Brio, which will afford greaterdimension and strengthen competencies in the dynamic area of healthy food. Inthe same way, in the Sports Fashion sector, we signed an agreement with JDSprinter to create the 2nd Iberian sports player which, combining the assetsand competencies that both Groups enjoy in the sector, will foment redoubledambition in size and profitability.
We continueto benefit from a solid capital structure, with greater maturity on debt andlower financing costs, thus maintaining favorable conditions for the fulfilmentof our growth ambitions and continuous improvement of the value propositions wepresent our customers.