Russian retailer Lenta has reported a 2.4% year-on-year growth in gross profit to RUB23.4 billion (€260 million) in the first quarter of its financial year, with gross margin increasing 26 basis points year-on-year to 21.8%.
EBITDA amounted to RUB6.7 billion (€74 million) in this period, while the EBITDA margin was 6.2%.
The company saw a sales growth of 6.7% during the quarter when adjusted for the extraordinarily high base effect for the 14-31 March 2020 period, which witnessed pandemic-driven bulk buying.
On an unadjusted basis, retail sales increased by 1.5% year-on-year to RUB105.9 billion (€1.17 billion).
Like-for-like sales (unadjusted) grew by 1.3% compared to the same period last year, with an average ticket growth of 11.6%.
Customer traffic declined by 9.3%, Lenta added.
Lenta saw online sales up 674% year-on-year to RUB3.8 billion (€42 million), while online orders increased by 871% to 2.2 million.
It continued the rapid roll-out of its online channel, which is now available in all 89 Russian cities where the company operates.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Lenta chief executive, Vladimir Sorokin, said that the company started 2021 with a firm financial foundation for growth and a clear strategy focused on value creation.
“We have already made some exciting progress on new strategic initiatives aimed at expanding our online business and strengthening our multi-format offering. We just recently launched our new Mini Lenta proximity store format, which enables us to get closer to our customers and to offer a tailored range of quality products at segment-leading prices alongside a unique customer experience,” he added.
Lenta added one store on a net basis, bringing the total number of retail outlets to 394 and the total selling space to 1.52 million square metres as of 31 March 2021.
The company’s SG&A (selling, general and administrative) expenses in the first quarter amounted to RUB21.6 billion, or 20.1% of total sales.
It is equivalent to an increase of 217 bps year-on-year, driven by investments into preparing Lenta for growth, salary indexation in LFL stores and new store openings, investments into online, COVID-19 and other one-off related expenses, the company said.
“While the external environment still presents challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lenta has continued to adjust swiftly to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers when it comes to product quality and selection, as well as ensuring a safe shopping experience,” Sorokin stated. [Pic:©Blinow61/123RF.COM]