Pao de Acucar Falls on Slower Same-Store Growth: Sao Paulo Mover

Cia. Brasileira de Distribuicao Grupo Pao de Acucar, Brazil’s biggest retailer, fell the most in two months after reporting sales at supermarkets open at least a year grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter.

Shares slid 3.2 percent to 89 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the steepest decline since Oct. 25. It was the worst performance on the benchmark Bovespa index, which fell 0.3 percent.

Same-store sales at supermarkets rose 5.6 percent in the three months through December from the same period a year earlier, the Sao Paulo-based company said in a regulatory filing yesterday. The increase in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 8.7 percent.

“Those figures were disappointing because the end of the year usually represents a good time for retailers,” Karina Freitas, an analyst at brokerage Concordia SA in Sao Paulo, said in a phone interview. “Consumers took advantage of government incentives to buy products such as cars in the middle of 2012, so by Christmas there was less disposable income for more spending.”

President Dilma Rousseff last year lowered taxes on consumer goods, asked banks to reduce borrowing costs, ordered power utilities and phone companies to cut prices and capped car imports from Mexico to boost domestic demand and spur growth in Latin America’s biggest economy.

Pao de Acucar’s net revenue advanced 9.1 percent to 14.6 billion reais ($7.2 billion) in the fourth quarter and 9.3 percent to 50.9 billion reais for 2012, according to yesterday’s filing. Earnings will be released Feb. 19.

Shares gained 35 percent in 2012, compared with the Bovespa’s 7.4 advance.

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