Russia's Lenta Sees Like-For-Like Sales Up 2.1% In Q4
Russian retailer Lenta has posted a 2.1% increase in like-for-like sales in the fourth quarter of its financial year, with the business posting sales of RUB 119.5 billion (€1.59 billion) for the period.
The like-for-like sales increase was driven by a 2.1% gain in basket value and a 0.0% increase in traffic. Total sales were up 6.6% in the period.
The group opened a net new 11 hypermarkets and 14 supermarkets in the quarter, leaving it with 379 stores as of year-end, including 244 hypermarkets and 135 supermarkets.
"Our hypermarket business continues to deliver solid growth with sales up 8% in Q4," commented Herman Tinga, Lenta chief executive.
"Customers reacted positively to continuing improvements in our offering, range, marketing and communication, which led to an acceleration in LFL sales to 1.8%. We were particularly pleased to achieve an increase in like-for-like each month of the reported period from October to December, with traffic returning to a strong positive level in the last month of the year and customers continue trading up in our stores."
In terms of the group's full-year performance, like-for-like sales were up 1.3% for the year (excluding wholesale growth of 5.3%), with LFL traffic rising by 0.5% and LFL basket value up by 0.8%.
Total sales were up 13.2% in the full-year period to RUB 413.5 billion (€5.51 billion).
“2018 was a challenging year for the Russian food retail sector, with strong competition for customers in a weak macro environment," Tinga added. "In this context Lenta delivered robust retail sales growth of 11% in Q4, with positive same store sales alongside an increase of 6% in total selling space."
Tinga was appointed chief executive of the business in the fourth quarter, along with the appointments of Dmitry Bogod as chief strategy officer and Rud Pedersen as chief financial officer, with the latter taking up his role during the first quarter of 2019.
Looking ahead to the coming year, Tinga said that he was confident that Lenta would "continue winning customers from competitors, especially other hypermarket players, [and focus on] on differentiation to compete with smaller formats."
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.