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November 30, 2009

RUSSIA: X5 outlines US$615m expansion plan

X5 Retail Group, Russia's largest retailer by sales, has revealed plans to spend RUR18bn (US$615.8m) on opening up to 275 stores in 2010.

X5 Retail Group, Russia’s largest retailer by sales, has revealed plans to spend RUR18bn (US$615.8m) on opening up to 275 stores in 2010.

The company, which runs the Perekrestok supermarkets and the Pyaterochka soft discount chain, said it wants to speed up the expansion of its discount business after last week announcing the acquisition of supermarket chain Paterson.

Up to 10 hypermarkets, 15 supermarkets and as many as 250 discounters could be opened next year under X5’s plans.

“While consumer confidence remains weak, we are actively positioning X5 to benefit from future economic recovery through a balanced execution of like-for-like growth strategy and stepped up expansion,” said CEO Lev Khasis.

“We plan to accelerate store additions in discounters, maintain healthy expansion in hypermarkets, while with the acquisition of Paterson, we also reinforced our supermarket leadership in key markets, adding to the company’s upside potential.”

The retailer also announced a US$72.9m third-quarter net profit boosted in part by a one-off foreign exchange gain.

Operating profit, however, fell 16% to US$107.5m, while gross margins dropped by 160 basis points as X5 cut prices across its store formats.

The weak Russian rouble hit revenues, which slipped 4% to US$2.1bn. When measured on roubles, sales rose 24%.

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