Turnover at Casino Guichard-Perrachon, France’s second-largest quoted food retailer, rose 15.2% in 2001 to €21.967bn (US$19.44bn) on a strong contribution from its Monoprix division.

The results included a full year of revenue from Monoprix after just six months the previous financial year. Casino holds a 48.8% stake in Monoprix. Indeed, Casino said it improved its market share across all its domestic divisions, which include supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores. Analysts commented that the growth had come at the expense of global retail giant Carrefour.

The positive news comes in line with analysts’ expectations despite a troubled year for the group’s Latin American operations. The group has a strong presence in Argentina, where one of its Leader Price stores and a cash & carry store fell victim to looters last month as civil unrest broke out.

The Argentine currency devaluation will affect the group only through a hit on shareholder capital via an adjustment in goodwill, reported Casino. Sales in Argentina grew just 1.7% last year and fell 0.9% on a constant currency basis. Sales in Brazil also fell as a result of the country’s energy crisis and currency devaluation, but Carrefour remains optimistic the situation will improve after a promising last quarter.

According to a report by Reuters, analysts believe Casino is too small to remain independent long-term. It will probably seek an alliance with a larger entity. Potential partners include compatriot Auchan or US colossus Wal-Mart.