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French retailer Casino’s Q3 sales up

Published 15 October 2013

French retailer Groupe Casino registered strong sales growth in the third quarter, which reached $16bn, beating expectations of various market analysts.

Deducting acquisitions, currency and calendar effects, and petrol, this was a like-for-like rise of 6.5% and an acceleration from 3% growth in the second quarter.

This strong sales growth was fuelled by robust demand in Brazilian market.

The retailer also benefitted from price cuts introduced at the end of 2012 in Geant hypermarkets in France, which boosted sales.

In France, like-for-like hypermarket sales declined 4.7% in the quarter, compared with a 7.9% drop in the second quarter and an 11.5%fall in the first.

French hypermarket traffic rose 2.4% while food volumes gained 7.7% in the four weeks to 14 October.

Casino now expects to return to positive growth in all its French businesses between the end of 2013 and early 2014.

"There are encouraging signs in France despite an economic climate that is not getting easier," said finance director Antoine Giscard d'Estaing.

Despite cautious consumer spending in Europe, the company is confident of €2.35bn in earnings before interest and taxes as it banks on strong profitable growth in international markets, which account for 57% of its sales.

Casino has also been expanding in Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia, to offset weaker growth in Europe.

In emerging markets, Latin America posted like-for-like sales growth of 13.5%, while Asia grew 8.5% in the quarter.