Brazil pharmacy Raia Drogasil focused on new stores not M&A -CEO

viernes 23 de septiembre de 2016 14:36 GYT

SAO PAULO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Raia Drogasil SA, Brazil's biggest drugstore chain, will sit out expected consolidation of the national market, the company's chief executive said in an interview, because its own rapidly expanding network is proving increasingly efficient.

There has been no lack of buyers and sellers in the market. CVS Health Corp entered Brazil with an acquisition in 2013 and two sources told Reuters this month that rival Brasil Pharma SA is close to selling two units.

But Raia Drogasil Chief Executive Marcilio Pousada said his company will play no part.

"Our growth is organic," he told Reuters late on Thursday. "Our aim is to consolidate the market opening stores."

Raia Drogasil has done that at an accelerating pace. In July, the company announced plans to open 200 new stores both this year and next, up from 156 new stores last year and earlier plans to open 165 stores in 2016 and 195 in 2017.

The company had 1,330 stores in Brazil at the end of June.

Early indicators suggest the growing network has not hurt the efficiency of Raia Drogasil's distribution channels. Pousada said an index of customers finding their prescriptions out of stock at the chain's stores fell to an all-time low in August.

Encouraged by the healthy growth and solid results despite an economic recession in Brazil, investors sent Raia Drogasil shares soaring more than 90 percent this year, well above a 35 percent gain on the benchmark Bovespa stock index. (Reporting by Paula Laier; Writing by Brad Haynes)