Groupe Casino has reported a fall of 11% in first quarter revenue, to EUR9.7bn, affected by exchange rate fluctuations in Latin American markets. Excluding the exchange rate effect, group sales were up 1.5%.
Asia treated as discontinued
Given that the Thai business has been divested and Vietnam is under negotiation, Casino has treated the Asia segment as a whole as discontinued. Consolidated turnover has been restated at 1 January to exclude the activities for all periods presented. Casino did not update on progress regarding its Vietnam divestment.
Good quarter for France
Casino reported "good performances" in France with +2.9% organic growth to reach EUR4,548m. This follows on from its recovery in the second half of last year. Non-food sales are now positive at Géant, where same store sales increased by 4%. Leader Price reported Q1 sales up 7.2% and continues to develop its franchise business; 191 stores have been transferred since the second quarter of 2015.
Expansion was a key factor in the growth of Monoprix (organic sales +2.3%). The banner has opened 80 new stores (gross) since Q2 2015. In other supermarket banners, there were positive same store sales at Supermarchés Casino, with increased customer traffic driven by the new loyalty programme and successful promotions.
Conversions boosting sales at Franprix
Same store sales were positive at Franprix, although organic sales were affected by store disposals and transfers. The Mandarine concept celebrates its first birthday this year, with 300 stores renovated to date of which 120 in-depth. This has boosted sales by 8.5% on average. Casino should complete all renovations by the end of 2017, or the start of 2018 at the latest.
Casino continues to develop the format and began a pilot project in two stores as of March. Members of staff are equipped with scanners and payment terminals and are free to roam the stores, allowing customers to pay without having to queue at a checkout. Jean-Paul Mochet, CEO of Franprix, says this is to provide a more welcoming and convenient experience for customers.
Improvement in Latin America
Food sales were up 8.3% on an organic basis. Growth at Grupo Éxito was still accelerating in the first quarter, powered mainly by Colombia where the economic environment is more positive than in Brazil.
GPA reported Q1 results on 13 April. Find out more here.