Groupe Casino Sees Sales Fall 6.6% In France In Second Quarter

By Reuters
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Groupe Casino Sees Sales Fall 6.6% In France In Second Quarter

Groupe Casino has said that sales in France in the second quarter fell by 6.6%, after a 4.6% decline in the first three months of the year.

Core earnings were expected to record a loss of between €165 million and €175 million for the first half, compared with a profit of €191 million in the same period of 2022, due to lower sales and lower prices at its hypermarkets and supermarkets.

Hypermarket sales were down 17.1% in the second quarter on a like-for-like basis, with supermarket sales down 13.9%, the group said, however its Monoprix arm reported a 2.2% increase in sales, and Franprix was up 4.3%.

Full-year core earnings or EBITDA are now seen below €300 million, against an estimate of €440 million in a business plan presented last month.

New Deadline

In a statement, Casino said that a new deadline for rival bidders to present their rescue offers for the group had been set for July 14.


Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky is vying against a consortium led by telecoms entrepreneur Xavier Niel, investment banker Matthieu Pigasse and businessman Moez-Alexandre Zouari to take control of Casino, which is saddled with net debt of €6.4 billion.

Casino said court-appointed mediators who are trying to broker a deal with the group's creditors by July 27 had set a deadline for the two rival camps to present revised bids for the group no later than 1900 GMT (3 p.m. ET) on Friday.

On Tuesday, Pigasse told French daily les Echos that 3F's offer would be raised, without giving further details, and the newspaper said Kretinsky would also raise his offer. Kretinsky's representatives could not be immediately reached for comment while Casino declined to comment.

So far Kretinsky is leading a €1.35 billion investment plan to rescue Casino, dwarfing a €900 million proposal put forward by 3F Holding.


However, the 3F Holding plan can count on the support of some of Casino's largest secured creditors, namely funds Attestor Capital, Davidson Kempner Capital Management and Farallon Capital, according to a statement from 3F Holding.

Unsecured creditors could also contribute to the 3F plan, pushing up the total of the new money on offer, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

The unsecured creditors, who are set to be wiped out under both proposals, are seeking better recoveries for their claims, including a larger equity stake of Casino post restructuring, the sources added.

Under the current 3F Holding plan, the unsecured creditors would get a mere 2.46% equity stake. Under the Kretinsky proposal, they would receive 3.60% of the equity.


Read More: Rival Billionaires To Detail Rescue Plans For Casino

'Upgrade Their Offer'

"I expect both parties to try to upgrade their offer on the cash injection front while strongly reiterating their industrial and jobs commitments to satisfy the French government", said Bryan Garnier analyst Clément Genelot.

"A €1 billion cash injection doesn't look enough to allow a sustainable recovery at Casino France," he said, adding required investments across the network of hypermarkets and supermarkets as well as the Monoprix chain would need a €2.5 billion to €3 billion cash injection."

The French government is concerned about possible job cuts at Casino, France's sixth-largest retailer. The group had about 50,000 employees in the country at the end of last year.

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