Chilean diversified retailer Cencosud said on Friday its net profit sank 66 percent in the first half from the previous year.

Cencosud had profits of 24.08 billion pesos ($45.5 million), down from 71.10 billion pesos in the same period last year.

The company, which has put off several projects as the global financial meltdown hurts sales, has operations in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

($1 = 529.07 Chilean pesos at the end of June)

(Reporting by Santiago newsroom; Editing by Dan Grebler, Bernard Orr)