Today, the French multi-format retail group Casino announced in a statement that its net profits from the first half of 2000 had grown by 20.7% compared to the previous year period, from €105m to €127m. The figure was in line with the forecasts of business analysts, which anticipated a rise of between 19% and 21%. Operating profit rose by a further 20% to €251m.

The augmented profits were the result of sales totalling €8.226bn. Rising by 15.3%, the company's sales experienced a higher than average annual growth rate, which has been calculated at 12% since 1995.

The company has experienced accelerated growth over the last three years, and is focusing on the consolidation of its rapid international expansion. Casino's international ambitions have been practically realised since 1996 and the company's current performance in the US, Poland, Argentina and Uruguay reflects the capital investments ploughed into ventures outside of the French market. Revenue from foreign operations was calculated today at 37%, which, the company said, has risen from just 14% this time last year.

In 1999, Casino launched its shopping site on the web, and inaugurated its first multimedia centre in Rennes, and in the latest statement the company announced its intentions to further expand its Internet operations. This contrasts strongly with the announcement earlier this week that market leader Carrefour was to reduce its planned investment in online activities.

These latest figures represent a strong performance by the company, both within the French retail market and the on the back of continual expansion of foreign investment, and analysts are predicting a rise of at least 20% in both net and operating profit when the results for the full-year period are announced.

Six months to June 30, 2000
(in millions of euros unless otherwise stated)

  2000 1999
Net attributable profit after goodwill 127 105
Net attributable profit before goodwill 141 n/a
Earnings per share (euros) 1.29 1.14
Sales 8,226 7,133
Operating profit 251 214

Casino Guichard Perrachon - Paris - Six Months To June 30:

  2000 1999
Net Pft EUR127 Mln EUR105 Mln
Revenues 8.23 Bln 7.13 Bln
Operating Profit 251 Mln 209 Mln
Per Share Earnings 1.29 1.14