French retailer Groupe Casino has posted a trading profit increase of 15.7% in its home market in full-year 2018, to €579 million, ahead of its initial objective of 10%, the retailer said.
Net sales across the group were up 4.7% on an organic basis to €36.6 billion, it added.
The period saw the execution of a €1.5 billion asset disposal plan, with Casino saying that it now plans to raise its disposal level to €2.5 billion worth of assets by the first quarter of 2020.
It also outlined a plan to open 300 premium and convenience stores by 2021, reduce its hypermarket exposure to 15% of gross sales under banner (from the current level of 21%), and increase its proportion of e-commerce sales to 30% by 2021 (compared to 18% as of the end of 2018).
Three Year Plan
Over the next three years, it also said that it was hoping to increase its EBITDA margin and trading margin for the retail business by 0.2pts per year in France, as well as grow trading profit for its French retail business by 10% per year.
“In France, the Group is fully committed to its trajectory of continuous improvement in profitability,” commented Jean-Charles Naouri, chairman and CEO of Casino Group.
“Our capital structure has been strengthened with the significant reduction in debt and we are planning further debt reduction this year. Our business model is now well positioned for the profound changes that are taking place in the retail sector.
“Our strategic leadership will be further enhanced over 2019-2021 with an increased focus on profitable formats, accelerated development of our digitalisation programme and e-commerce offering, and the expansion of new businesses which benefit from the Group's assets and expertise.”
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.