November 20, 2017 / 8:03 AM / a year ago

Russia's Dixy Group plans de-listing, share buyback

MOSCOW, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Russian food retailer Dixy Group said its board would discuss the de-listing of its shares from the Moscow Exchange at a meeting this week.

Dixy, controlled by its chairman Igor Kesayev, has struggled to grow sales since a drop in the rouble and recession hit consumers’ wallets in 2014. The company is in the middle of a turnaround programme aimed at financial stabilisation.

The share de-listing and the price of a share buyback are on the agenda of the board meeting on Nov. 22, Dixy said in a disclosure document. The company declined further comments.

Dixy has bought back 20 percent of its shares from the market, spending 4.5 billion roubles ($75.95 million) and fuelling speculation it planned to de-list.

Shares in Dixy lost 2.7 percent in early trade on Monday, while the broader market index was up 0.3 percent.

The retailer, which had around 2,700 mostly small neighbourhood stores by the end of September, reported last month a 9.8 percent drop in third-quarter like-for-like sales, while total revenue was down 8.3 percent.

In a bid to reverse declining sales, it has been reviewing assortment, pricing strategy and store positioning to lure consumers, which it said were still highly price-sensitive.

The company’s 2016 revenue stood at 311 billion roubles, putting it third among home-grown Russian retailers, behind Magnit and X5, which last year turned over more than 1 trillion roubles each. ($1 = 59.2525 roubles) (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, editing by Louise Heavens)

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