MADRID, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Spain's DIA expects earnings to improve this year due to an economic recovery and following a drop in like-for-like sales last year, the discount supermarket chain said on Thursday.
Dia's acquisition of 451 El Arbol supermarkets and of more than 200 stores from competitor Eroski will boost net sales by 1.1 billion euros and give it the second largest market share in Spain after Mercadona, Dia said.
Around 2 percent economic output expansion, improved jobs and real estate markets, rising consumer confidence and falling oil prices will help to boost activity this year, it said.
The El Arbol purchase promises saving of more than 30 million euros ($34.09 million) per year and access to tax credits worth 380 million euros.
However, falling prices and a decreasing population were likely to have hit the company's 2014 fourth-quarter like-for-like sales, which are seen dropping 5.3 percent, it said.
$1 = 0.8801 euros Reporting by Robert Hetz; writing by Paul Day; editing by Julien Toyer and Jason Neely