Saint-Petersburg, Russia; 30 June 2015–Lenta LLC, the main operating subsidiary of Lenta Ltd. (“Lenta” or the “Company”), acknowledges that Fitch Ratings has assigned Lenta LLC with long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (“IDL”) of ‘BB-‘ and a National Long-term rating of ‘A+(rus)’, both with a positive outlook.
The ratings reflect Lenta’s strong position in the modern food retail market in Russia, its resilient operational performance, its profitability and the Company’s ability to grow its share of the Russian food retail market. The ratings are supported by Lenta’s low leverage and its financial flexibility. Fitch believes that Lenta’s price-led business model and its low concentration of discretionary non-food items, will help Lenta to maintain healthy like-for like sales growth despite the current economic slowdown in Russia.
Lenta’s Chief Financial Officer, Jago Lemmens commented:
“Lenta is pleased to have received a national investment grade credit rating and a ‘BB-‘ IDL rating in the current economic circumstances. The ratings reflect the success of Lenta’s business model and the prudent financing of our growth plans. All of our debt is Rouble denominated and 93% of our debt maturities are long-term. In addition, we have recently further extended maturities while reducing funding costs.
“The $225 million new primary equity offering Lenta completed in March 2015 is enabling the company to finance continued rapid expansion while maintaining a strong balance sheet. The success of the offering demonstrated the depth of shareholder support for our strategy. We reiterate our plans to open at least 25 hypermarkets in 2015. We remain on track to comfortably exceed our long-term target of doubling selling space in the three years to December 2016.”
Lenta is one of the largest retail chains in Russia and the country’s second largest hypermarket chain (in terms of 2014 sales). The Company was founded in 1993 in St. Petersburg. Lenta operates 116 hypermarkets in 621 cities across Russia and 27 supermarkets in Moscow, with a total of approximately 751,448 sq.m of selling space. The average Lenta hypermarket store has selling space of approximately 6,200 sq.m. The Company operates five owned hypermarket distribution centres.
The Company’s price-led hypermarket formats are differentiated in terms of their promotion and pricing strategies as well as their local product assortment. The Company employed approximately 35,100 people as of 31 December 20142. The Company’s management team combines a mix of local knowledge and international expertise coupled with extensive operational experience in Russia. Lenta’s largest shareholders include TPG Capital and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, both of whom are committed to maintaining high standards of corporate governance. Lenta is listed on the London Stock Exchange and on the Moscow Exchange and trades under the ticker: ‘LNTA’.
A brief video summary on Lenta’s business and its Big Data initiative can be seen here.
For further information please visit www.lentainvestor.com, or contact:
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