Casino sales growth in the first quarter accelerates, driven by food demand in France

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PARIS, April 23 (Reuters) – Retailer Casino, struggling with investor concerns over its high debt, said revenue growth accelerated in the first quarter, reflecting strong food sales in its main French market in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic and a solid performance in Brazil.

Casino, which suspended its financial forecast for 2020 last month due to uncertainties related to the coronavirus pandemic, said the foreclosure in place in France since March 17 had resulted in “unprecedented” food demand especially in its stores proximity and in e-commerce.

Casino, which sells assets to reduce debt and also controls the Brazilian group Grupo Pao de Acucar, had revenues of € 8.294 billion in the first quarter ($ 8.97 billion).

On a like-for-like basis and excluding acquisitions, currency effects and fuel revenues, sales increased 6.4% against growth of 1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

$ 1 = 0.9247 euros) (Report by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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