* Company sees gross revenue of 87.5 bln reais in 2015
* Annual capital spending to rise nearly 80 pct in new plan
* Board expected to approve plan, consider franchise in 2013
SAO PAULO, Dec 11 Grupo Pão de Açúcar SA
, Brazil's biggest retailer, plans to increase
sales by about 50 percent and boost investments nearly 80
percent over the next three years, according to a report on
Tuesday by newspaper Valor Economico.
The prospect of continued robust growth and increased
capital spending suggests a strong bet that household
consumption will continue to drive Brazil's economy. Rising
consumer debt has weighed on demand for appliances and
electronics this year, but Pão de Açúcar appears focused on its
food business for growth.
Valor, without saying how it obtained the information,
reported that Pão de Açúcar's strategic plan for 2013-2015 calls
for 120 new Minimercado Extra supermarkets and 40 new wholesale
Assai food stores to drive sales growth.
A Pão de Açúcar spokesman declined to comment on the report.
The retailer's food business is seen expanding to 58 percent
of revenue in 2015 from 54 percent this year, according to the
report. Recently acquired home furnishings and electronics
chains in its Viavarejo unit helped more than double sales over
the past three years but have not proven as profitable as
The strategic plan was approved by controlling shareholder
Casino last month and is likely to be approved by the
Pão de Açúcar board of directors on Friday, Valor reported.
Pão de Açúcar shares were little changed in early Tuesday
trading at 91.52 reais, while the benchmark Bovespa stock index
slipped 0.3 percent.
The plan projects gross revenue of 87.5 billion reais ($42.1
billion) in 2015, up from an estimated 57.4 billion reais this
year, and investments of 3.2 billion reais in 2015, up from 1.8
billion reais this year, according to the newspaper.
Growing capital spending by Brazilian retailers contrasts
with stagnant industrial investment, as weak global growth,
transportation bottlenecks and a heavy tax burden choke the
competitiveness of local manufacturers.
Pão de Açúcar's board and executives have also discussed
franchising the company's stores, which would accelerate growth
without as much investment, but the board will not decide on the
matter until the end of 2013, Valor reported.