LISBON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Portugal's second-largest retailer, Jeronimo Martins posted on Monday a higher-than-expected 8.3 percent rise in net sales for last year, driven by its Polish unit Biedronka, which is the leading food retailer in the eastern European country.
Jeronimo Martins said in a statement preliminary sales in 2015 reached 13.73 billion euros ($14.88 billion), above the 13.68 billion euros expected on average by analysts.
Biedronka's sales alone rose over 9 percent to 9.21 billion euros helped by 80 new stores, while its like-for-like sales rose 3.2 percent, which the company said more than compensated food deflation in Poland.
Sales at its main Pingo Doce supermarket format in Portugal rose 5.4 percent to nearly 3.41 billion euros.
Jeronimo's relatively new retail chain in Colombia, Ara, hit 122 million euros in sales from 142 stores.
In the fourth quarter alone, overall net sales rose over 6 percent to 3.55 billion euros form a year earlier.
$1 = 0.9229 euros Reporting By Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge