Russia's largest retailer X5 Retail posted a net loss of US$14.7m for the third quarter driven by a foreign exchange loss from a $1.1bn loan.

The retailer, which has forecast a slowdown in sales growth, said net retail sales, including the Karusel stores, for the first nine months of 2008 totalled $6.5m, a year-on-year increase of 56%.

As a result of the depreciation of the Russian ruble versus the US dollar, X5 reported a loss of $85m resulting from revaluation of the company's syndicated loan. FX loss for the first nine months totalled $40m.

"X5 is reaching the end of the year as the unrivalled leader in Russian retail, and we see further opportunities for gaining market share," said CEO Lev Khasis. "In the current economic environment, food retail remains one of the most resilient sectors as consumers shop for their basic needs.

The company said it expected sales to grow by more than 25% in 2009 after 40% this year and capital expenditure of up to $500m compared with around $1bn earmarked for 2008.

Adjusted net profit for the third quarter, excluding FX loss totalled $56m, an increase of 192% year-on-year, compared to $19.2m in 2007.