August 8, 2018 / 9:56 AM / a year ago

Retailer Casino's shares hit new lows on broker downgrade

PARIS, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Shares in France’s Casino sunk to new lows on Wednesday, after brokerage Bernstein cut its rating on the stock and re-ignited lingering concerns over the supermarket retailer’s cash-flow and high debt levels.

Casino shares were down around 10 percent in mid-session trading, hovering at their lowest levels since late 1996.

Bernstein cut its rating on Casino to “underperform” from “market perform”, citing concerns over how the company’s franchise model might impact its profits and cash-flow.

Casino, which had its credit rating cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s in March 2016, is under pressure to show it can revive profits in France, where it competes with bigger rivals such as Carrefour.

Casino, whose parent group is French company Rallye , said in June that it aimed to complete 1.5 billion euros of asset sales by early 2019 to cut its debts. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Marc Angrand and Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Sarah White)

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