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X5 Retail Appoints Metals Executive to Run Its Main Store Format

X5 Retail Group NV, appointed Olga Naumova, an executive with experience at industrial companies, to run Pyaterochka, the budget chain that accounts for two-thirds of revenue at Russia’s second-largest retailer.

The position had been vacant since Frank Mros, a former executive of German retailer Lidl, resigned in January after sales growth fell at X5’s discounters. Naumova previously worked as an executive at Russian companies including steelmakers ChelPipe and OAO Severstal, X5 said in a statement today.

The appointment of a permanent head for the discounter is positive, while “her lack of retail experience is likely to mute any market excitement,” Maria Kolbina, an analyst at VTB Capital, said in a note.

Billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s X5 ceded the title of Russia’s largest retailer by sales to faster-growing OAO Magnit, run by billionaire Chief Executive Officer Sergey Galitskiy, based on first-quarter results. Magnit increased sales more than 30 percent during the quarter, while X5 had 8.1 percent growth.

Stephan DuCharme was appointed as X5’s permanent CEO in January after filling the role on an acting basis for half a year.

X5 rose 0.2 percent to $18.13 at 2:16 p.m. in London. The stock has dropped 24 percent in 12 months, while Magnit advanced 113 percent.

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