SAO PAULO, April 23 (Reuters) - Gross sales at Carrefour Brasil, one of Brazil's largest food retailers, rose 9.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019 to 14.2 billion reais ($3.62 billion) compared with the same period last year, as food inflation more than compensated for a less favorable calendar.
Easter weekend, which boosts sales significantly, took place in the second quarter of 2019, but was part of the first quarter of 2018, the company said in a Tuesday night securities filing ahead of its earnings release planned for May 9.
The Brazil-listed unit of France's Carrefour SA recorded major growth at its wholesale unit known as Atacadão , which gained relevance amid the slow recovery of the Brazilian economy from recession.
The Atacadão division posted a quarterly gross revenue of 9.5 billion reais, up 13.6 percent from the same period one year ago, helped by ongoing efforts to expand the business organically. The retailer opened four of the 20 new stores expected for 2019 in the first quarter.
In the retail unit, which uses the brand name Carrefour Varejo, gross sales grew by only 0.2 percent to 4.65 billion reais.
On a like-for-like basis, consolidated gross sales rose 6.6 percent in the first quarter.
$1 = 3.9208 reais Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Lisa Shumaker