Brazil's GPA gross sales jump 24% in fourth-quarter after incorporating Colombian ops

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian supermarket chain GPA SA PCAR4.SA on Wednesday reported a 24% rise in fourth-quarter gross sales after completing a reorganization that allowed it to book revenue from Colombia's Almacenes Exito SA IMI.CN.

The group reported gross sales of 18.9 billion reais ($4.56 billion) after including Exito’s results.

GPA successfully concluded a tender offer to acquire 96.57% of Exito shares on November 27 as part of broader efforts by parent company Casino Guichard Perrachon SA CASP.PA to simplify its shareholding structure in Latin America.

“In the fourth quarter, only one month of [Exito’s] operation was factored in, with a contribution of 2.4 billion reais in gross sales, confirming a positive trend seen in recent quarters,” GPA said in a securities filing.

In Brazil alone, the retailer posted fourth-quarter gross sales of 16.515 billion reais, up 8.4% year on year, as double-digit revenue growth in wholesale unit Assai compensated for weaker performance in other segments.

Assaí reported a 19.7% rise in gross revenue to 8.74 billion reais, as 13 out of the 22 new stores opened in 2019 were inaugurated in the quarter.

Excluding calendar effects, the wholesale unit posted a 9.9% increase in same-store sales compared with the fourth quarter of 2018.

The other division, known as “multivarejo”, which encompasses Pão de Açúcar, Extra and Compre Bem stores, reported a 2% drop in gross revenue to 7.775 billion reais.

On a like-for-like basis, gross sales fell 0.9% in the “multivarejo” segment, mainly on a poorer performance by Extra hypermarkets.

GPA e-commerce sales grew over 40% in 2019, representing 6% of revenue in Pão de Açúcar stores.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; editing by Bernadette Baum and Jason Neely