X5 Retail Group, Russia’s largest retailer by sales, stands to prosper in 2010 from its balanced “portfolio” of stores, a leading Moscow analyst has told just-food.

The company, which today (9 April) posted a 7% rise in like-for-like sales for the first three months of the year, runs discount, supermarket and hypermarket outlets in Russia.

Victoria Petrova, an analyst at Credit Suisse in Moscow, was satisfied with X5’s first-quarter sales figures, although she cautioned that the retailer’s results had been driven by its discount stores.

“It was okay. However, X5 has not shown a rebound either in hypermarkets or supermarkets and the like-for-like sales were completely driven by the discount stores,” Petrova said.

X5’s discount sales rose 17% on a like-for-like basis, while like-for-likes at supermarkets fell 6%. Sales at the retailer’s hypermarkets dipped 1%.

Nevertheless, Petrova said X5 had, over the last 12 months, gained share across all three formats, in part due to the “failure of its main competitors” and due to the company’s investment in price.

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The company’s growth meant the business was “well-positioned” to benefit from any economic recovery, Petrova said. “It has a well-balanced portfolio,” she explained.

The analyst, however, warned that challenges remain in an economy that was particularly affected by the global downturn, with consumers remaining “price sensitive”.