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Pao de Acucar Advances on Strong Fourth-Quarter Food Sales

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Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cia Brasileira de Distribuicao Grupo Pao de Acucar closed at the highest price in six months after Brazil’s biggest retailer announced strong food sales in the fourth quarter.

Pao de Acucar rose 2.1 percent to 69.49 reais in Sao Paulo trading, the highest since July 5, 2011. The Bovespa benchmark index fell 0.1 percent.

Net sales rose 10 percent to 7.2 billion reais ($4 billion) in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ago, while sales in the retailer’s food operations were up 8.7 percent in stores open for more than one year, the São Paulo-based company said in a regulatory filing today.

“We see this performance as especially good when considering the deceleration seen in the Brazilian retail sector,” Banco J. Safra SA analyst Fernando Labes wrote in a report to clients today. “We believe the strong performance in food operations, the company’s core business, more than compensates the mild performance at Globex.”

Sales at Globex Utilidades SA, the company’s appliances and electronics division, rose 4.9 percent in stores open for more than a year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fabiola Moura in New York at fdemoura@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos in New York at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net; Helder Marinho at hmarinho@bloomberg.net

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