Groupe Casino has said it is pushing on with its disposal plan to reduce debt with a deal to sell its majority stake in its energy business GreenYellow.
Group sales accelerated in the second quarter, rising 8.1% on a same-store basis, driven by a robust performance in Latin America and the return of tourists to French cities.
Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) however declined 7.8% at constant exchange rates to €1.069 billion in the first half, as e-commerce unit CDiscount faced a tough market for non-food.
The retailer, which has been selling assets to reduce debt, said Casino, Tikehau Capital and Bpifrance signed a put option agreement with Ardian, via its infrastructure business, to sell their majority stake in GreenYellow at an enterprise value of €1.4 billion.
Disposal proceeds, net of €165 million reinvestment, would amount to €600 million for Casino, lifting its disposals to date to €4.0 billion.
Casino confirmed its goal of completing the final €500 million of its €4.5-billion disposal plan by the end of 2023.
High Level Of Profitability
Casino, which has a stake in Brazilian food retailer GPA, reiterated its aim to maintain a high level of profitability and improve cash flow generation this year despite rising inflation.
In its core French market, all the group's brands returned to sales growth in the second quarter, driven by expansion and a gradual return of tourists, with a sharp acceleration since mid-June.
Its Monoprix stores recorded same-store sales growth of 2.2% in the second quarter after declining 3.0% in the first quarter.