* Says total sales down 2.7 pct to 22.5 bln roubles
* Blames fall on exceptional sales a year ago
* Says to increase its store opening programme
MOSCOW, April 14 Russian electronics retailer
M.video's (MVID.MM) first-quarter like-for-like sales fell as
the rouble strengthened from a year ago, and it increased its
new store plans as a sign of confidence in the rest of 2010.
The company blamed the 11 percent sales decline on a weak
rouble in the first three months of 2009, which had led to a
spike in sales figures.
"Since then the economy and the market have changed
significantly, and customers' behaviour is no longer driven by
the national currency performance," CEO Alexander Tynkovan said
in a Wednesday statement.
"We are happy with our Q1 sales results and are optimistic
about 2010," he added.
M.video said it would ramp up a store opening programme to
30 new stores from 20 previously forecast, funded by a net cash
position of 700 million roubles ($24.14 million).
It said total sales fell 2.7 percent in the first quarter to
22.5 billion roubles.
In January it said it expected like-for-like sales remaining
flat for the full year after a 12 percent decline in 2009.
(Reporting by John Bowker and Maria Plis, editing by Will