Magnit Gains Most a Month as Sales Jump on New Stores

OAO Magnit, Russia’s second-largest food retailer, rose the most in a month in Moscow trading after saying December sales gained 44 percent on store openings.

Magnit climbed 58.94 rubles, or 12 percent, to 553.27 rubles on the Micex Stock Exchange, reaching the highest in almost three months. The advance was the biggest one-day gain since Dec. 11.

Sales reached 15.6 billion rubles ($510 million) last month, the Krasnodar, southern Russia-based company said in a statement today. Magnit opened 102 stores in December, increasing its selling space by 26 percent.

The retailer, which mainly runs convenience food stores, is expanding across Russia to capitalize on rising incomes outside of the country’s largest cities. Same-store sales in the fourth quarter climbed 19 percent in ruble terms, while the amount of purchases increased 0.2 percent, the company reported today.

“Magnit demonstrated a very healthy performance which further indicates its position as a market leader in the convenience store and hypermarket formats in the regions where it has operations,” Natasha Zagvozdina and Ulyana Tipsina, analysts at Renaissance Capital in Moscow, wrote in a note. They have a “buy” recommendation on the stock.

Full-year sales gained 42 percent to 132.4 billion rubles. Magnit opened 382 outlets last year, raising the total to 2,579.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Ermakova in Moscow at mermakova@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Campbell at k.campbell@bloomberg.net

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