Faster growth in France and continued rising sales overseas have buoyed French retailer Groupe Casino during the first three months of the year.

The company saw underlying sales jump by more than a quarter during the first quarter of 2008. Revenue reached EUR6.9bn (US$11bn), a rise of 25.6% on the year.

Sales in France were up 5.3%, compared to growth of 1.8% in the corresponding period of 2007. Sales from Casino’s Franprix and Leader Price stores climbed 8.5% thanks, the company said, to investment in marketing.

“The group is benefiting from its favourable format mix, which is heavily weighted towards the market’s most promising segments, supermarkets and discount formats,” Casino said.

Outside France, revenue jumped 15.2% to account for over a third of Casino’s total turnover.

Sales rose by over a fifth in South America and by 12.6% in Asia, the company said.