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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Demanding Shoppers Boost Sedmoi Sales

Supermarket chain Sedmoi Kontinent reported a 46 percent increase in first-half net profit on Thursday as strong consumer demand and new store openings drove a 37 percent increase in sales.

Net profit rose to $31.8 million, from $21.8 million in the same period a year earlier. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) gained 68 percent to $53.8 million.

Sales rose to $450.6 million, lifted by the opening of two hypermarkets, four supermarkets in Moscow and the reopening of three stores in the western region of Kaliningrad during the first half of the year.

The company said customer numbers were 44 percent higher, reaching 44.2 million in the first half.

Analysts had forecast that Sedmoi Kontinent would achieve first-half sales growth of 33 percent to 39 percent, with EBITDA growing at roughly double that pace.

Analysts at Aton brokerage in Moscow said the results "fell short of our expectations across the board" and placed their "buy" recommendation on Aton's stock under review.

Sedmoi Kontinent trades at a discount to its main peers Magnit and Pyaterochka, but its shares are illiquid and the shares had risen 1.6 percent to 630 rubles on the MICEX bourse at 5:25 p.m.