Brazil retailer GPA's sales grow 6 percent in second quarter
SAO PAULO, July 13 (Reuters) - Brazil's GPA SA reported a 6 percent rise in net revenue in the second quarter from a year earlier, as rapid expansion of its wholesale and e-commerce units offset plunging appliance sales in the Via Varejo division.
The sales report by the country's biggest retailer, released in a Monday securities filing, showed a 2.9 percent drop in revenue at stores open for at least 12 months.
Same-store sales grew 3 percent for food retail operations, but tumbled 23.5 percent at Via Varejo as climbing interest rates and expiring tax breaks hurt demand.
Still, sales in the Cnova e-commerce unit more than doubled and nine new cash-and-carry Assai wholesale stores opened in the past year, helping to lift net revenue to 16.108 billion reais ($5.09 billion) in the three months through June.
GPA shares rose 3 percent in early Sao Paulo trading, rebounding from a 42-month low last week.
A consumer downturn in Brazil this year has hurt investor confidence in retailers like GPA, which have done well amid a broader slowdown in Latin America's largest economy since 2011, but are now feeling the pinch of rising unemployment and inflation.
($1 = 3.1626 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Brad Haynes and Luciana Bruno; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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