(Recasts, adding share performance and details of sales)
SAO PAULO Oct 11 GPA SA, Brazil's
biggest retailer, reported strong third-quarter sales in its
cash-and-carry wholesale division on Tuesday, but a
disappointing performance by its restructured e-commerce unit
sent shares sliding.
The group's net revenue rose 4.4 percent from a year earlier
to 15.1 billion reais ($4.7 billion), driven by 45.7 percent
growth for rapidly expanding wholesaler Assai, which offers
rock-bottom prices for families pinched by a severe recession.
Still, a worse-than-expected 38.3 percent sales drop for
troubled online retail subsidiary Cnova triggered concerns,
including questions about continued fallout from inventory
GPA shares fell as much as 3.6 percent in early trading, the
biggest drop on the benchmark Bovespa stock index.
"We think (Cnova) results are still affected by operating
issues of the past that are being addressed by the new
management team," wrote UBS analysts led by Gustavo Piras
Oliveira in a note to clients.
GPA's controlling shareholder Casino Guichard Perrachon &
Cie decided to restructure Cnova and delist it from
the Nasdaq exchange after an investigation into inventory
mismanagement triggered writedowns.
Aggressive discounts at Extra hypermarkets also helped to
boost third-quarter sales volumes, GPA said, but net revenue in
the food division rose just 1.1 percent, excluding Assai.
Sales in home appliance division Via Varejo SA
were little changed from a year earlier, rising 0.4 percent
despite an ongoing drop in the market for home appliances.
The group's same-store net revenue, a gauge of recurring
sales activity at stores open for at least a year, rose 1.9
($1 = 3.22 reais)
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Additional reporting by Paula Laier and
Silvio Cascione; Editing by Brad Haynes and Tom Brown)