Retailer Casino keeps goals although French protests impacted sales

Supermarket retailer Casino , which is battling investor concerns over its high debt, said revenue growth slowed down slightly in the fourth quarter as anti-government protests in France impacted sales at its Geant hypermarkets.

The French “yellow vest” anti-government protests cost Casino about 50 million euros ($57 million) in lost revenue -Reuters - REUTERS/Stéphane Mahé

Casino, which is shedding assets to help cut its debts and which recorded a robust sales performance in its second-largest market of Brazil, nevertheless expected to meet its 2018 profit goals for France, and overall group and debt reduction goals.

The French “yellow vest” anti-government protests cost Casino about 50 million euros ($57 million) in lost revenue, Finance Chief David Lubek told reporters.
Casino, which controls Brazil’s Grupo Pao de Acucar , said fourth-quarter sales reached 9.928 billion euros, above the 9.8 billion euros average in a consensus of 10 analysts’ forecasts compiled by the company.

Stripping out acquisitions, disposals, currency effects and fuel, group sales rose 5.1 percent year-on-year, a slight deceleration from 5.3 percent growth in the third quarter.

Fourth quarter figures reflected a weaker performance in France where the “yellow vest” protests resulted in blocked access to some stores, notably hypermarkets which make some 20 percent of Casino French sales.

Casino shares fell 28 percent last year, partly on concerns over its balance sheet and parent group Rallye’s ability to refinance its debt.

The stock rose 2 percent on Jan 17, and is broadly flat since the start of 2019.

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