July 20, 2017 / 8:14 AM / 2 years ago

Russia's Lenta says like-for-like sales rising after fall in Q2

MOSCOW, July 20 (Reuters) - Russian food retailer Lenta is seeing higher like-for-like sales this month after a 2 percent fall in the April-June quarter, Chief Executive Jan Dunning said on Thursday.

“June results were very strong with a return to positive like-for-like sales growth which has continued into July,” Dunning said.

In the April to June quarter customer traffic in mature stores fell 2.9 percent while the average ticket was up 0.9 percent.

Lenta said it had launched several initiatives during the quarter to stimulate sales, which helped it return to growth.

“We hope to continue this momentum in the second half of the year,” Dunning said.

Second-quarter sales were up 16.3 percent to 85.6 billion roubles ($1.45 billion), a smaller rise than the 17.2 percent advance seen in the January-March quarter.

It said opening more stores in cities where it already had a presence resulted in “cannibalisation” as stores competed with each other.

The company opened seven supermarkets in the second quarter, taking its total to 254 including 195 hypermarkets and 59 supermarkets.

Lenta confirmed plans to open about 30 hypermarkets and about 50 supermarkets this year.

It expects first-half adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation to rise 14 percent with a profit margin of 9.6 percent, down from 9.8 percent in the first half of 2016, Lenta said in a statement.

$1 = 59.0130 roubles Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; editing by Jason Neely

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