By Gabriela Mello
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian food retailer Carrefour Brasil SA <CRFB3.SA> on Monday reported a 12.5% rise in first-quarter gross revenue from the same period a year ago, as coronavirus-related measures led Brazilians to stock up and bolstered e-commerce sales in particular.
Excluding gasoline, total gross sales hit 15.197 billion reais (2.17 billion pounds) in the quarter, the local subsidiary of France’s Carrefour SA <CARR.PA> said in a securities filing.
On a like-for-like basis, excluding a calendar effect, the company posted a 7.6% growth in gross sales year-on-year.
Food e-commerce under the flagship chain Carrefour jumped by 235% in the first quarter, with the number of orders hitting a record-high of 4,269 per day, compared with an average of 1,674 earlier in March.
“E-commerce has become one of the most popular sales channels in the current scenario,” the company said.
On April 13, Reuters reported that the cost of new hiring and other measures taken by Carrefour Brasil to cope with the pandemic could offset stronger sales in the period.
Total gross sales under the brand Carrefour, which operates supermarkets, hypermarkets, and convenience stores, came in at 4.402 billion reais, 10% up year-on-year.
At wholesale unit Atacadão <CRFB3.SA>, the group’s major source of revenue, gross revenue climbed by 13.6% in the first quarter to 10.79 billion reais.
Carrefour Brasil, like the Brazilian unit of French rival Casino Guichard Perrachon SA <CASP.PA>, has invested heavily in the cash-and-carry format, which offers wholesale discounts to bargain-seeking Brazilians still recovering from a deep economic recession.
Shares in Carrefour Brasil have fallen 30% so far this year, underperforming rival Grupo Pão de Açúcar <PCAR4.SA>, whose shares have risen over 4% in the same period.
(Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Christian Plumb and Rosalba O’Brien)