MOSCOW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - X5, Russia's largest food retailer by sales, will be hard pressed to achieve its 15 percent rouble sales growth target for 2012 after a slow start to the third quarter, Chief Financial Officer Kieran Balfe said on Tuesday.
"Clearly, if this continues, we obviously don't expect even a soft 15 percent year-on-year increase in sales," Balfe told a conference call, referring to July sales data.
He added, however, that it was too early to revise guidance downward.
"We have introduced initiatives to improve sales over the rest of the year and we will continue to do so between now and the end of December," he said.
Last month, X5 narrowed the guidance to a 'soft 15 percent' from 15-20 percent after first-half sales rose by 6.9 percent in rouble terms, year-on-year.