French grocery retailer Casino has recorded an increase in first-quarter sales, which it attributed to the consolidation of acquired assets in Brazil and Thailand.

The retailer said yesterday (12 April) that sales were up 18.8% for the quarter ended 31 March to EUR67.8bn (US$110.2bn).

Casino attributed 10.6 points of the gain to the consolidation of Casas Bahia by Grupo Pao de Acucar - in which the French retailer holds a majority stake - and the consolidation of Carrefour Thailand's operations by Big C, the Thai retailer in which Casino also holds a majority stake.

Casino's total international sales were up 44.1% to EUR3.4bn. Its French operations saw sales rise by 4.5% to EUR4.4bn.

On an organic basis, sales were up 5.7% for the quarter, with its French operations delivering 3.1% growth, while international sales rose 10.5%.

The retailer said its French operations increased its market share by 0.2 percentage points over the period. Same-store sales at its Leader Price chain were up 3.8% over the quarter.

Casino's South American operations recorded an 11.1% rise in organic sales, despite what the retailer described as "unfavourable technical factors", including a later Easter and the postponement of a major promotional campaign in Colombia.

Meanwhile, sales "continued to gain momentum in Asia", climbing 11.7% on an organic basis.

In 2011, the retailer said it plans to strengthen its market share in France through expanding its convenience and discount segments. Casino is also targeting an increase in margins at its French business Franprix-Leader Price.

The retailer is also aiming to continue to deliver "profitable organic growth in international markets" and continue its "asset rotation strategy", targeting some EUR700m in asset disposals.