Lenta profits up despite Russian economy slump

Adam Hignett
Lenta has moved into selling via an app

sian retailer Lenta has defied the massive downturn in the country’s economy to see profits rise by a third in the 12 months to 31 December.

The retail chain expects to continue growing at this pace for the duration of 2015 despite the ongoing fallout from the rout in oil and western sanctions.

Sanctions have been imposed on the country in the wake of the annexation of Crimea last year and the continuing unrest in Ukraine.

The resulting sanctions have led to an annual inflation rate in 2014 estimated to have been just over nine per cent.

Lenta continued to expand the number of its retail outlets in 2014, opening 14 new supermarkets and 31 hypermarkets, marking a 39 per cent increase in floor space.

The increased floor space corresponded with a rise in sales of 35 per cent last year to 194bn roubles (£2bn) with earnings increasing 30 per cent to 21bn roubles. Lenta’s chief executive officer, Jan Dunning said: “We are delighted that Lenta continues to win in its market; delivering industry-leading growth in sales and selling space for the second consecutive year.

“Our pace of growth has accelerated further as we push on with our store opening plans to extend Lenta’s reach in the under-served Russian market.

“Our low price/low cost business model is well suited to these challenging times as it enables us to help our customers by mit­igating the ef­fects of inflation. This makes us even more confident in driving successful further expansion”.

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