Russian retailer Lenta has announced that total sales grew by 18.7% in the third quarter of its 2017 financial year, increasing to RUB 89.6 billion.
This brings the retail group's total sales for the first nine months of the year to RUB 235.1 billion, representing an increase of 17.4% compared to the same period last year.
"Lenta’s sales growth accelerated to 19% in the third quarter of 2017," said CEO Jan Dunning.
"Although we are still seeing some pressure from deflation and cannibalisation, our efforts led to substantial improvements in both like-for-like traffic and ticket growth, which accelerated every month of the third quarter."
Lenta has been continuing with its rapid expansion plans, and opened six new hypermarkets and five supermarkets in the third quarter of 2017.
During this period, the retailer also signed an agreement to lease 14 hypermarkets in Moscow that were previously operated under the Nash brand, celebrated the milestone of reaching 200 hypermarkets across Russia, and opened its first supermarkets in Yekaterinburg.
"We are pleased with the initial customer reaction to changes we made in our offering, range, marketing and communication which resulted in positive like-for-like sales growth," added Dunning.
"We are also satisfied with the pace of expansion in both hypermarket and supermarket format. Supermarkets showed very strong performance in the reported quarter with 5% like-for-like sales growth and we are confident in our ambitious plans to continue rolling-out this format in existing and new cities."
Lenta has confirmed its 2017 hypermarket opening guidance at about 40 new stores, which includes the 14 leased hypermarkets. The retailer says that it also has plans to open about 50 new supermarkets this year.
The group's total store count reached 265 at the end of September, comprising 201 hypermarkets and 64 supermarkets.
"There is still a lot of work to be done," said Dunning. "But we are pleased with the initial impact, which helped deliver positive like-for-like sales growth in the quarter - we hope to sustain this momentum over the coming months.”
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.