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Brazilian retailer Lojas Americanas triples losses

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By Aluisio Alves

SAO PAULO, May 7 (Reuters) - Brazilian retailer Lojas Americanas SA tripled its loss in the first quarter, as higher expenses to expand its financial arm Ame offset strong sales growth, the company said late on Thursday.

Lojas Americanas, which is in the process of transferring assets to its e-commerce subsidiary B2W Companhia Digital , lost 163 million reais ($31 million) in the first quarter, 231% higher than the loss it posted a year ago.

Net revenue grew 29% to 5 billion reais, but expenses rose 50% to fund expansion in the digital platform and financial arm. Around 30% of its brick and mortar stores were closed in the first quarter due to measures taken to control the raging COVID pandemic in Brazil.

Lojas Americanas announced last week its plan to transfer operational assets to B2W and list in the United States next year. ($1 = 5.2765 reais) (Reporting by Aluisio Alves in Sao Paulo; writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Toby Chopra)