UPDATE 1-Russia's X5 forecasts faster sales growth in 2014

Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:51am EST

MOSCOW Feb 14 (Reuters) - Russia's No. 2 food retailer, X5 Retail Group, forecast on Friday that sales growth would accelerate in 2014, driven by new store openings and higher like-for-like sales.

X5 changed its strategy in 2011 to focus on opening new stores rather than buying existing chains, but suffered operational problems as well as increased competition from aggressively expanding rivals. Investors have been hoping for a turnaround from the firm shown by sustained sales growth.

The retailer said sales in rouble terms would grow 10 to 12 percent in 2014 versus the previous year. That would be an acceleration from the 8.7 percent rise it reported in 2013 to 532.7 billion roubles ($15.7 billion).

It said its EBITDA margin - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization - would be 6.8 percent to 7.2 percent and capital expenditure up to 40 billion roubles ($1.1 billion).