X5 Retail Group, Russia's largest retailer, said today (20 January) that full-year net sales grew 53% in 2008 due to the opening of new stores and the acquisition of the Karusel chain.

On a consolidated basis, including acquired Karusel stores, X5's net retail sales for the full year reached US$8.30bn, up 57% in US dollar terms or 53% in rouble terms.

For a second consecutive year, the group said its like-for-like sales growth exceeded 20%, reaching 22% in 2008, with the balance of full-year retail sales growth coming from expansion in selling space.

Pro-forma net retail sales grew 41% year-on-year in rouble terms and 45% in US dollar terms to US$8.8bn.

"In 2008 X5 further strengthened its leadership in Russian retail, and we delivered on all our plans for the year," said X5 CEO Lev Khasis. "2008 was a break-through year for our hypermarket format as we acquired Karusel, successfully integrated the acquired stores and tripled our hypermarket store count from 15 to 46."

For the full year, gross sales at the acquired Karusel hypermarkets increased by 30% in rouble terms. Like-for-like sales were up 20%.

Like-for-like sales from X5's supermarkets increased by 23% in rouble terms for the full year.