April 24, 2019 / 6:20 PM / 5 months ago

Brazil retailer Via Varejo to fully integrate sales platforms by June 30: CEO

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian electronics and appliance retailer Via Varejo SA plans to fully integrate its online and physical sales platforms by June 30, a move likely to increase margins in the second half of the year, Chief Executive Officer Peter Estermann said on Wednesday.

Estermann said that full integration should facilitate inventory management, as well as the pick up and/or return in physical stores of products bought online.

Via Varejo, controlled by Brazil’s Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA), itself a subsidiary of France’s Casino Guichard Perrachon SA, expects its revenue to increase by two percentage points above inflation in 2019.

“An easier management of channels on a daily basis will have a positive impact on revenue and margins,” Estermann told journalists in a phone call to discuss the company’s first quarter results.

Among other initiatives likely to drive margins up, the CEO mentioned a regional pricing strategy adopted in April and the higher participation of furniture items in total sales.

Via Varejo posted a net loss of 49 million reais ($12.5 million) in the first quarter. Via Varejo expects positive results despite no major improvement in the macroeconomic environment, the executive said.

Via Varejo shares traded 1.5 percent down late afternoon Wednesday at 3.87 reais.

According to Estermann, who is also GPA’s CEO, the company does not plan to unload additional stakes in Via Varejo and is committed to finding a strategic buyer by the end of this year.

Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool

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