MOSCOW, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Russia's biggest food retailer Magnit posted on Tuesday a worse-than-forecast 21.55 percent year-on-year decline in fourth-quarter earnings in dollars due to a sharp slide in the rouble.
Magnit said net profit reached $284.3 million, compared to $362.4 million a year ago. Analysts had expected a fall to $313.1 million because of forex losses during conversion into dollars and associated with direct imports.
Magnit, which has 9,711 mostly budget convenience stores, obtains all its revenue in roubles, so the 30 percent fall in the currency's value in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier skews its results in dollars.
Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 15.9 percent to $525.4 million, below the $560.9 million analyst forecast, while the EBITDA margin came in at 11.3 percent against 12.5 percent a year ago.
In the whole of 2014, the margin stood at 11.20 percent, slightly up from 11.16 percent in 2013 and in line with the company's 11.2-11.4 percent guidance.
Magnit is majority owned by Chief Executive Officer and founder Sergei Galitsky and is the biggest food retailer in Russia by sales, which stood at $19.9 billion last year, and by number of stores. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, editing by Elizabeth Piper)