Palama, Puerto Rico — Palama supermarket outlets and other businesses have been hit hard by the economic slowdown, the company’s president said Thursday, with the Palama Mall on the island’s western coast reporting a 10 percent drop in sales as the recession deepened.
The retailer had a $1.5 billion profit last year, compared with a $2.4 billion loss in 2010.
Palama reported a drop of 4.7 percent in its fourth-quarter sales, the most in the U.S. since 2011.
The mall said its sales of furniture, mattresses, appliances and other retail items fell 1.6 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year.
The loss in the fourth quarter of Palama’s U.N. Ambassador, Michael B. Murphy, has been the most significant since he took office in 2012.
The economic slowdown has affected the economy of Puerto Rico, which is the poorest U.H.S.-held territory.
The economy is still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in September.
Palama, which has about 1.5 million residents, is a retail, grocery and specialty-goods store chain with a long history of expansion.
The company has a long relationship with the U-H.A.I.R. and the UCP, and the company owns the Palmas of Puerto Rican, a supermarket chain.
The U.P. government has also given Palama preferential tax treatment.
Palmas spokesman Jorge Castaneda said Thursday that the company had been hit with a drop in its profits, but declined to provide details.
The retailer has a strong credit rating.