April 17, 2018 / 5:48 AM / 6 months ago

Retailer Casino's Q1 sales rise as French hypermarkets improve

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) - French supermarket retailer Casino posted a 3.1 percent rise in first-quarter sales on Tuesday that reflected stronger sales at its Geant Casino hypermarkets and a resilient performance in Brazil despite food inflation.

Casino, whose credit rating was cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s in March 2016 and which has been criticised by U.S. activist fund Muddy Waters, is under pressure to show it can revive sales and profits in France as conditions in Brazil remain tough.

Casino, which controls Brazil’s Grupo Pao de Acucar , posted first-quarter sales of 8.9 billion euros ($11 billion), in line with analysts expectations for sales of 8.89 billion euros.

Excluding acquisitions, currency effects and revenue on fuel, sales rose by 3.1 percent against 3.2 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2017.

$1 = 0.8076 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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