X5 Retail Group has posted a 12% increase in first-half like-for-like sales, driven by a 5% increase in customer traffic and a 7% increase in average basket size.

When measured in roubles, total net retail sales increased 27% from the previous year to reach RUR130.9bn year-on-year.

However, when measured in dollars, net retail sales for the period reached US$3.9bn, a slight drop from $4.3bn in the comparable period of 2008.

X5 Retail CEO Lev Khasis said: "Healthy supermarket sales performance in Moscow and St. Petersburg was offset by economically-affected regions. Hypermarkets also faced economic headwinds. Educating consumers about our new value proposition in hypermarkets takes time, and we are intensifying efforts to build Karusel's brand with publicity campaigns, special promotions and our summer sale launched in the third quarter."

X5 net retail sales for the second quarter of 2009 reached RUR67.8bn. On a consolidated basis, including the results of the acquired Karusel chain, net retail sales at Russia's largest retailer rose 46% in RUR terms and 7% in USD terms.

"In the second quarter we saw trading down trends deepen as consumer confidence and purchasing power weakened further. X5 is staying close to its customers by keeping prices down and delivering quality assortment across formats," Khasis said.

X5's like-for-like sales grew 11% in rouble terms year-on-year during the second quarter, supported by 6% traffic growth.

Customer traffic surged 11% at X5's discount stores, driving Pyaterochka's LFL sales growth of 18%.

In the second quarter, X5 added an extra 20 stores, including 14 soft discounters, two
supermarkets and four hypermarkets.