Pão de Açucar's Q4 same-store sales rose 5.6% compared with year-ago quarter, down from 8.7% growth in Q4 2011 versus Q4 2010; revenue rose 9.1% to 14.6B reais in Q4, 9.3% to 50.9B reais for 2012

SAO PAULO , January 11, 2013 () – Cia. Brasileira de Distribuicao Grupo Pao de Acucar, Brazil’s biggest retailer, fell the most in seven months after reporting sales at supermarkets open at least a year grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter.

Shares slid 3 percent to 89.20 reais at 3:20 p.m. in Sao Paulo after earlier tumbling as much as 4.2 percent in the steepest intraday drop since May 23. It was the worst performance on the benchmark Bovespa index, which fell 0.3 percent. Trading in Pao de Acucar surged to 1.4 times the average full-day volume for the past three months.

Same-store sales at supermarkets rose 5.6 percent in the three months through December from the same period a year earlier, the Sao Paulo-based company said in a regulatory filing yesterday. The increase in the fourth quarter of 2011 was 8.7 percent.

“Those figures were disappointing because the end of the year usually represents a good time for retailers,” Karina Freitas, an analyst at brokerage Concordia SA in Sao Paulo, said in a phone interview. “Consumers took advantage of government incentives to buy products such as cars in the middle of 2012, so by Christmas there was less disposable income for more spending.”

President Dilma Rousseff last year lowered taxes on consumer goods, asked banks to reduce borrowing costs, ordered power utilities and phone companies to cut prices and capped car imports from Mexico to boost domestic demand and spur growth in Latin America’s biggest economy.

Pao de Acucar’s net revenue advanced 9.1 percent to 14.6 billion reais ($7.2 billion) in the fourth quarter and 9.3 percent to 50.9 billion reais for 2012, according to yesterday’s filing. Earnings will be released Feb. 19.

Shares gained 35 percent in 2012, compared with the Bovespa’s 7.4 advance.

--Editors: Dennis Fitzgerald, Bradley Keoun

To contact the reporter on this story: Denyse Godoy in Sao Paulo at dgodoy2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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