French retail group Casino has reported an 8% increase in net sales during the third quarter, increasing to EUR6,111.9m (US$7,691.96).

Organic sales were up 5%, compared to an increase of 3.8% in the in the first quarter and 4.1% in the second quarter of the year.

Sales in the retailer's home market of France, which constitutes 74% of total sales, grew by 4.9%, while international sales, which account for the remaining 26% of sales, increased by 17.9%.

Looking at the French market, the company said: "All indicators are positive for Géant hypermarkets and Casino supermarkets, reflecting the effectiveness of the group's commercial strategy." Casino placed particular emphasis on the success of its competitive pricing policy, promotion of Casino private label products and fresh produce, and enhanced customer service.

The company said that its Monoprix chain turned in an "excellent" performance, with organic growth of 6.7% and a 5.5% increase in same-store sales. The Superettes delivered solid growth of 3.6% while Franprix/Leader Price saw sales rise 1.7%. 

Internationally, the company posted organic growth of 9.2% in Latin America, while same store sales increased by 6.8%. In Asia, Casino posted organic growth of 8.8% and a rise in same store sales of 2.4%.

The French grocer confirmed its targets for organic sales growth to come in above levels reported in 2005, to increase its operating income and to reduce debt.

Shares in Casino were bolstered by the group's results, increasing from an opening value of EUR66.40 to EUR67.75 at 3.25pm (GMT).