(Adds recent trading numbers, new store guidance)
MOSCOW, March 12 (Reuters) - Russian hypermarket chain Lenta said on Thursday it expected sales to rise by 34-38 percent this year, compared to 34.5 percent growth in 2014.
The guidance is based on recent trading which showed its sales growth has continued to accelerate month-on-month from November 2014 through February 2015, Lenta said.
“Year-to-date growth in 2015 through March 10 has been particularly strong with 37.4 percent growth in total sales and 15.1 percent like-for-like sales growth,” it said in a statement.
The company plans to open 20-25 hypermarkets and 10-15 supermarkets in 2015, fewer than last year because of the volatile macroeconomic environment and commitment to maintain a strong balance sheet.
Lenta’s shares were up 1.6 percent on the day in early trade in Moscow, outperforming the broad MICEX index which was down 0.6 percent.
Lenta also said in a statement that its second-half 2014 net profit rose 39 percent, year-on-year, to 6.4 billion roubles ($104.85 million). ($1 = 61.0410 roubles) (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Lidia Kelly)