Retailer Casino Q1 sales slow on Brazil

PARIS, April 14 Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:05pm EDT

PARIS, April 14 (Reuters) - Retailer Casino said sales growth slowed in the first quarter, reflecting a more subdued performance in its top market of Brazil while Asia stayed weak as a tough consumer climate and political unrest hit sales in Thailand.

In France, Casino saw a further improvement at its hypermarkets, where it continued to benefit from previous price cuts and sales at Geant Casino turned positive.

But sales at the LeaderPrice discount stores fell 9 percent as these are still in the early stages of resetting prices.

Casino, which makes 60 percent of its sales in emerging markets and controls Brazil's top retailer, Grupo Pao de Acucar , said first-quarter group sales reached 11.295 billion euros ($15.6 billion), slightly above the 11.26 billion euro forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Stripping out acquisitions, currency effects and excluding petrol, this was a like-for-like rise of 6.6 percent and a slowdown from 8.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, Casino said on Monday. ($1 = 0.7238 Euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)