Eurotorg, Belarus' biggest retailer, has reported a 8.3% increase in net retail sales in the first quarter of its financial year, with its convenience business accounting for 52.1% of sales.
The group, which spun off its e-commerce business in the first quarter as a separate entity, said that first quarter sales totalled BYN 1.16 billion (€370 million).
In keeping with its asset-light strategy, all new grocery stores added in the quarter were convenience outlets, located in leased premises.
As well as its convenience arm, the group has also sought to expand its discounter formats, with the number of soft discounters operating under the Hit! banner increasing to 305, while the number of outlets under the hard discount Groshyk banner grew to 30.
As of 31 March, the group operated 950 stores across Belarus, with a total selling space of more than 350,000 square metres.
Like-for-like sales were up 3.0% in the period, with average basket sales rising by 17.9%, although traffic fell by 12.7%.
Its performance follows on from a positive full-year at the group, in which sales were up 6.8%.
“Eurotorg has started 2021 confidently, increasing retail sales by 8.3% y-o-y while outperforming the growth of the country’s grocery retail market as a whole," commented Eurotorg CEO Andrei Zubkou. "Like-for-like revenue dynamics were positive for the fifth quarter in a row – LFL sales grew by 3.0% in the first quarter of 2021.
“On the back of these strong results, we have continued to successfully implement our strategy of asset-light expansion: our grocery network increased by 23 stores to 950. [...] I believe that such a good start to the year lays the groundwork for a successful year for our company."