MOSCOW, April 18 Russia's largest home
electronics retailer, M.video, expects sales to
rebound in the second quarter after a drop in the first three
months of the year, Alexander Tynkovan, the company's president,
He said the first quarter results were weakened by unusually
high sales in the first quarter of 2016, when a falling rouble
prompted many consumers to spend money before it lost value,
including on electronic goods.
While the Russian economy has recently picked up, he said he
did not yet see signs of improvement in consumer confidence and
"On the consumer market, the effect of economic growth is
not observed. There is a lack of money, people continue to live
in savings mode," Tynkovan, who is selling his stake in M.video,
The retailer, which is due to merge with rival Russian
retailer Eldorado after Tynkovan sells his stake, said on
Tuesday its sales fell 3 percent in January to March from a year
However, sales in February and March were up 6 percent on
average, year-on-year, M.video said in a statement.
"April is better and we expect that the second quarter will
be positive in terms of sales dynamics," Tynkovan said.
Russia's economy is expected to return to growth in 2017
after two years of recession, helped by a recovery in oil
prices, according to official forecasts.
Other retailers have also said, however, that there are no
signs yet of a pick-up in consumer spending.
Russia's central bank said last month it expected consumer
demand to rise in the second quarter of 2017.
Tynkovan and his partners agreed in December to sell their
entire controlling interest in M.video to Safmar group, owned by
businessmen Mikhail Gutseriyev and Mikail Shishkanov. Safmar
plans to merge M.video with rival retailer Eldorado, which it
Russia's anti-monopoly watchdog has approved the
acquisition, and Tynkovan said the competition regulator only
required minimal store closures in a couple of regions in order
to give the deal the green light.
(Reporting by Olga Sichkar, Christian Lowe, Andrey Ostroukh;
Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Susan Fenton)