Russian retail giant X5 Retail Group has reported a 4.8% increase in like-for-like sales in the third quarter of its financial year, largely driven by increased basket sizes (+4.7%), with a small increase in traffic (+0.1%).
The group, which operates the Pyaterochka, Perekrestok, and Karusel chains, said that total sales increased by 11.6% in the third quarter, to RUB 541.9 billion (€6.55 billion, an improvement on its second-quarter performance), with its traditional store formats seeing a 10.3% increase, and its digital businesses posting 156.9% growth, albeit off a lower base.
On a like-for-like basis, its Pyaterochka banner reported a 5.0% increase in sales, with basket size up 5.0% and traffic flat (0.0%). Perekrestok, meanwhile, reported a 4.5% increase in like-for-like sales, driven by a 2.4% increase in basket size and a 2.0% traffic gain.
Its Karusel banner, meanwhile, which is undergoing a hypermarket format transformation programme, reported a 4.3% decline in like-for-like sales with traffic declining by 8.7%, however baskets were up 4.8%.
Karusel's selling space has been reduced by 40.9% since this time last year, X5 noted.
X5 added 353 net new stores in the third quarter of the year, while 133 proximity stores and 10 supermarkets were refurbished to new concepts, which 'continue to show positive customer response', the group said.
Digital Growth In Moscow
Revenue from the group's digital operations, which include Vprok.ru Perekrestok, Express delivery services, 5Post services and Mnogo Lososya, totalled RUB 10.7 billion (€130 million) in the third quarter, with the retailer growing its presence in the capital, it added.
In Moscow and the Moscow region, the share of digital sales for Q3 2021 reached 3.6%, compared with an average 2% contribution to the total sales for X5 Group.
The group noted that food inflation in the third quarter accelerated to 8.1%, peaking at 9.2% in September, while prices for staples such as milk, meat and meat products, pasta and bakery products grew at a 'rate higher than inflation' due to rising prices for raw materials.
Commenting on the group's performance, Leonid Sinyutin, analyst with Sova Capital, said, "The results confirm the viability of the retailer’s double-digit growth target for FY21, which is reflected in consensus expectations.
"We believe the 3Q21 IFRS results slated for publication on Tuesday, 26 October, should be the next trigger for the stock (we are looking for a post-LTI EBITDA margin of 7.8% for the quarter). We maintain our BUY on X5."
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