UPDATE 1-GPA 4th-qtr supermarket sales slip, wholesale jumps 28 percent
* Net revenue edges up 0.2 pct, Assaí surges 27.8 pct
* Supermarkets, appliance sales fall from year ago
* Cnova probe calls for provision from inventory issues (Adds share performance, details of sales data)
By Brad Haynes
SAO PAULO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - GPA SA, Brazil's biggest retailer, reported flat fourth-quarter sales on Tuesday as robust growth at its wholesale unit offset weaker supermarket and appliance sales, sending shares sliding to a six-year low.
Consolidated net revenue edged up 0.2 percent from a year earlier to 19.710 billion reais ($4.88 billion), it said in a securities filing, boosted by a 27.8 percent jump in the fast-growing Assaí wholesale chain.
Revenue from its food retailers Extra and Pão de Açucar slipped 0.3 percent, while the top line of home furnishings division Via Varejo SA tumbled 14.7 percent and online retailer Cnova NV rose 9.5 percent.
Consumer prices climbed 10.7 percent last year, according to Brazil's benchmark IPCA index, hurting household demand along with rising unemployment and tighter credit amid the worst economic recession since 1990.
GPA shares fell as much as 3.6 percent on Tuesday to 35.46 reais, their lowest since July 2009 and far from the high of 100 reais in May. GPA is controlled by France's Casino Guichard Perrachon SA. Continuación...