Blog: "Immodest" CEO proclaims Magnit's Russian leadership

Michelle Russell | 12 April 2013

The CEO of Magnit is afraid to be seen to be blowing the Russian retail group's own trumpet, but what the heck, he will anyway.

He apparently has every reason to be pleased. Magnit, he claimed today in a stock exchange announcement, is now number one in sales in Russia's food retail sector.

The inevitable, then, has happened. Magnit, owned by Russian billionaire Sergey Galitskiy, overtook sales at its rival X5 for the first time since the company opened its first stores 15 years ago.

Magnit had been touted for some time by analysts to overtake its closest rival at some point this year.

Over the last few years, X5 has struggled to defend its market share. Its results today revealed an 8.1% increase in first-quarter net sales and less buoyant like-for-like sales.

In contrast, Magnit reported a sales rise of more than 30% earlier this week, with like-for-like sales growth of 4.8%.

Commenting on the news this morning (12 April), Galitskiy said: "I'm afraid to be found immodest, but for the first time over the last 15 years after opening of the first store we have become the leader in the food retail sector by sales."

Magnit investor relations director Timothy Post had hinted to just-food earlier this week on the release of its results that such an announcement was imminent.

He said: "X5 had always had the largest revenue but that's now flipped, it's just not public yet."

And so the focus for Magnit now will be to continue doing what it does best, expand. The Russian retail colossus already has plans to open almost 10,000 new stores by 2017.

Watch the just-food space for a more detailed analysis on Magnit's position in the Russian food retail sector next week.


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