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Retail

Russia's Fix Price Announces Dividend As H1 Revenue Jumps

Russian low-cost retailer Fix Price on Thursday said its revenue rose 28.1% to RUB106.1 billion (€1.23 billion) in the first half of 2021.

The results lifted Fix Price's share price, which has lost around 20% since a market debut in March, to a more than three-week high.

Fix Price raised around $2 billion in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, the biggest Russian IPO since western sanctions were introduced in 2014, capitalising on the COVID-19 pandemic reducing Russians' spending power and shopping more at low-cost retailers.

The company's depositary receipts in Moscow were up 0.8% as of 07:37 GMT, outperforming the wider index and after reaching their highest level since July 19 in early trade.

Growth Drivers

Fix Price, which sells low-priced goods in walk-in shops and online, said double-digit like-for-like sales growth and adding 418 stores to its network in the first half of the year were behind the jump in revenue. Like -for-like sales grew 11.9%.

Commenting on the group's performance, chief executive Dmitry Kirsanov said, "During the first half of the year management focused on maintaining operational flexibility and gradually adjusting to the new environment as the post-COVID recovery continues, with the introduction of new price points and fast assortment rotation.

"We also focused on growing traffic to position Fix Price to benefit from an expected increase in impulse shopping and discretionary spending in the second half of the year."

Half-Year Performance

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 24.1% to RUB19.8 billion (€230 million), with an EBITDA margin of 18.7%, down from 19.3% for the same period a year ago.

Kirsanov said in a statement this was a robust EBITDA margin, slightly below the unusually high level of last year and significantly above the same period in pre-COVID 2019.

Fix Price said the company intends to pay an interim dividend of RUB 11.5 per share or global depositary receipt, amounting to 100% of profit under the international financial reporting standards for the first half of 2021.

BCS Global Markets analysts said this payout implied a dividend yield of 2%.

In April of the year, the low-cost retailer reported 29.2% growth in first-quarter revenue to RUB51.7 billion (€570 million).

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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