Spanish retail group DIA has reported net sales of €1.69 billion in the first quarter of its financial year, down 7.3% year-on-year.
The company's Spanish arm generated sales worth €1.05 billion, down 1.4%, while Portugal was the only market to see growth, with sales amounting to €148.9 million (+0.7%).
DIA's Brazil and Argentina divisions witnessed the steepest decline with Brazil sales coming in at €251.5 million (-28.5%) and Argentina at €235.8 million (-16.3%).
The company attributed this decline to the devaluation of the Argentinian Peso (-36%) and the Brazilian Real (-26%) compared to Q1 2020.
The closure of around 400 stores also impacted the group's net sales, DIA added. Currently, DIA operates 6,100 stores, down from 6,506 in the first quarter of 2020.
Group like-for-like (LFL) sales were down 0.4% on an annual basis, although Brazil was the top performer (+7.0%) in terms of LFL performance.
Spain (-0.9%), Argentina (-2.3%) and Portugal (-2.5%) reported negative LFL sales in this period.
Despite solid like-for-like sales in January and February, the March results were affected by comparison with the period of exceptional COVID-19 pre-lockdown stockpiling in 2020 across all markets.
According to executive chairman, Stephan DuCharme, comparing sales performance from March 2021 onwards will be challenging "given the unprecedented surge in demand experienced by food retailers in 2020 as consumers around the world prepared for lockdown measures."
"While current restrictions in all markets continue to support at-home consumption, we remain cautious about the post-COVID environment, given existing uncertainties about the path to normalisation," he added.