PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – French retailer Casino on Thursday vowed to boost its profitability and cash flow further this year and push on with its asset disposal plan to reduce debts.
Casino achieved a 2020 group operating profit of 1.426 billion euros ($1.74 billion), up 25.2% at constant exchange rates, helped by cost savings and higher sales in France and Brazil, its second-largest market.
Sales rose 8% on a same store basis to 31.9 billion euros.
Food retailers across the world have benefited from the demand generated by the COVID-19 lockdowns, which have forced consumers to stay at home. This has strongly benefited Casino’s convenience stores in city centers and its E-commerce business.
The group has so far sold 2.8 billion euros of assets, including several hundred discount Leader Price stores to German rival Aldi.
Casino said that in view of the successful development of its broad portfolio of activities in France, it had “a greater flexibility” in implementing its disposal plan, for which it confirmed its target of 4.5 billion euros.