Russia-based Pharmacy Chain 36.6 reported that group revenue increased by 20.7% to USD1.05 billion in its audited 2008 financial results. Gross profit for the retailer increased by 37.2% to USD362.8 million, EBITDA reached USD33.2 million from a loss of USD30.8 million in the previous year and net loss decreased by 53.5 % from USD121.3 million in 2007 to USD56.4 million in 2008. Commenting on the results President Jere Calmes said: “Our 2008 financial results demonstrate a significant year-on-year improvement; progress in our retail operations coupled with the strong performance of our manufacturing arm returned the group to a positive EBITDA for 2008. Nevertheless, we continue to face extraordinary pressures associated with the global economic decline, which translates into a challenging operating environment and difficulty in finding sources of funding. The company’s management continues to focus on streamlining operations while working with the Board of Directors to find solutions for financing.” Sales from the retail unit grew 24.9% from USD673.4 million to USD841.3 million. Like-for-like sales increased 10.2% year over year and decreased 9.7% in the fourth quarter. The Early Learning Center chain delivered positive results in 2008 despite the effect of the global economic downturn. Early Learning Center revenue consolidated by the group (which is 50% of the total revenue) reached USD5.3 million, a 78% year on year growth rate driven primarily by organic store openings. As of the end of Q4, the unit operated 11 stores and was fully funded to meet its store roll-out plan.