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Russian food retailer X5 considers IPO for online business

written by Bella Palmer
ipo

X5 sees its digital business accounting for 5% of group revenue by 2023

Russia's largest food retailer X5 is discussing plans for an initial public offering (IPO) for its online business, a company official said on Thursday, honouring a pledge to place online expansion at the heart of its latest strategy.

The group's food delivery business - online shop Perekrestok Vprok (Perekrestok.ru) and the express delivery service from its Pyaterochka and Perekrestok stores - could go public within the next two to three years, said Andrei Vasin, the group's head of investor relations.

X5 last month said it expects Russia's online retail market to grow by more than 300% in the next three years and sees its digital business accounting for 5% of group revenue by 2023.

Vasin on Thursday estimated the value of its digital business at about £2.25 billion ($3 billion).

Ozon's successful market debut this week is an argument in favour of an IPO for X5's online business, Vasin said, after the Russian e-commerce company raised nearly £0.75 billion ($1 billion) in a New York IPO and its shares soared more than 40%.

X5's Pyaterochka is expected to register like-for-like online sales up 12-13% year on year in December, Vasin said, adding that the company sees the growth continuing when people stay home for Russia's New Year holidays in early January.

Vasin also said that X5 could raise its dividend payments over the longer term. It plans a total payout of £0.50 billion (50 billion roubles) for 2020.

The company committed to semi-annual dividend payments in 2020 and approved a first interim dividend of £0.20 billion (20 billion roubles) after quarterly results earlier this month.

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