SANTIAGO Feb 19 (Reuters) - Chilean retailer Cencosud said on Tuesday it expects regional expansion to help boost sales by about 25 percent in 2013 to $22.5 billion, a level below that forecast by the company late last year.
Cencosud , which has more than doubled the number of stores it operates since 2005 through growth and acquisitions, made its most recent big purchase last year with the $2.6 billion acquisition of French retailer Carrefour's Colombian assets.
After announcing the Carrefour deal, chairman Horst Paulmann said the expanded business should boost sales to $24 billion this year.
Through the first three quarters of 2012, Cencosud's revenue rose 21 percent versus a year ago to 6.568 trillion pesos, or $13.9 billion. Cencosud had forecast sales of around $18 billion last year.
The increase was driven by the consolidation of Brazilian supermarket chain Prezunic and Chilean department store chain Johnson's, double-digit gains in same-store sales in Argentina due to inflation, and the opening of 76 new stores.
Cencosud also said it will decrease capital expenditures for organic growth this year to $731 million to add 58 new stores, from an estimated $1.285 billion in 2012 to improve debt levels.
The diversified retailer already operates about 900 supermarkets, department and home improvement stores and shopping malls in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru.