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Consolidation helps Casino sales.

SAINT-ETIENNE, France -- Groupe Casino reported that third quarter sales from continuing operations reached 6.4 billion euros ($9.2 billion), a 12.1% increase over the preceding year.

Much of the gain was attributed to the consolidation of Casino's Almacenes Exito business in Colombia, which helped boost international sales by 59% to 1.9 billion euros ($2.7 billion). International sales rose 10.8% on an organic basis, with strong growth in Asia and Latin America, the company disclosed. Organic growth amounted to 15.4% in Latin America and 8.8% in Asia.

In Casino's home market of France, on the other hand, consolidated net sales for the third quarter totaled 4.5 billion euros ($6.5 billion), which is down 0.3% from the corresponding period last year. The company says the decline is due to a negative calendar effect, as well as to the impact of bad weather in July, which hurt sales of fruit, vegetables, beverages and seasonal goods.

The company's Casino supermarkets and Monoprix chains did well, with same-store sales gains of 1.8% and 2.2%, respectively. But the Geant hypermarket chain saw sales, excluding gasoline, fall 1.9% on a same-store sales basis. The discount chain's Franprix and Leader Price posted respective same-store declines of 3.5% and 12.3%. Casino reports that it has launched turnaround plans for both chains.

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Title Annotation:GLOBAL
Publication:MMR
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Nov 12, 2007
Words:227
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