SAO PAULO, April 11 (Reuters) - Gross sales at food retailer Carrefour Brasil SA increased 6 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier to 12.29 billion reais ($3.6 billion), though as in previous quarters, stubborn food price deflation limited gains.
In a securities filing late on Tuesday, the company said same-store sales, a measure of revenue from stores open at least 12 months, rose 2.3 percent in the quarter when calendar effects, or different numbers and timing of selling days, were taken into account. Without taking into account calendar effects, same-store sales grew a more modest 0.4 percent.
Carrefour Brasil's results reflect two competing dynamics in Brazil's food retail sector. Sales are generally rising across the board as consumers drive a rebound in the country's economy, but food prices continue to disappoint.
In the first quarter, food price deflation came to 4.0 percent, according to the government.
Same store-sales at the retailer's Atacadao cash-and-carry format, which offers final customers a wholesale experience, climbed 1.4 percent taking into account calendar effects, while same-store sales at the retailer's more traditional formats rose a calendar-adjusted 4.3 percent.
The company said it was on track to reach its goal of opening 20 new Atacadao stores this year, with four new stores having opened in the first quarter.
Carrefour Brasil also emphasized its growing electronics and e-commerce business, an increasing point of emphasis for the company.
It said e-commerce sales rose 103 percent year on year. The company added that sales of non-food products at Carrefour Brasil's traditional hypermarket formats increased at a "double digit" rate, with consumer electronics selling particularly well.
$1 = 3.41 reais Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Steve Orlofsky