Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Paris, Oct 12 - French retailers Casino and Carrefour are expected to report higher third-quarter sales this week, with investors looking for clues on consumer sentiment amid a lagging economic recovery.

Both groups are still struggling in their home market as shoppers spend less in the downturn, but should benefit from strong emerging markets in Latin America and Asia, positive currency effects and easier comparisons with a weak third quarter 2009.

Last week, Tesco PLC, the world's third-biggest retailer, said the global economy was recovering strongly and growth in emerging markets would help prevent developed economies from falling back into recession.

Carrefour is expected to report a 6.2 percent rise in third-quarter sales to 25.52 billion euros, according to a Reuters poll of 12 analysts.
The group last month unveiled a 1.5 billion euro revamp of its European hypermarkets and analysts will also be looking for any improvements in its key French hypermarket business. Some analysts, however, say it may be a bit premature to see an uptick given sales in August tend to be slow.

The hypermarket plan is a key part of Carrefour's three-year overhaul launched last year, which aims to deliver 4.5 billion euros in savings, mostly in European markets.
Carrefour has forecast underlying operating profit would rise to around 3.1 billion euros in 2010 thanks to cost control and buoyant emerging markets.
Analysts will also be looking for an update on the group's plans to sell assets in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in a bid to focus on markets where Carrefour has a stronger position.
Casino is expected to report third-quarter sales of 7.22 billion euros, a rise of 1.5 percent, according to a Reuters poll of 11 analysts.
Casino is France's fifth-ranked food retailer behind Carrefour, Leclerc, Intermarche and Auchan.
Analysts want to know if a strategy to cut prices at the Geant Casino hypermarkets is finally starting to pay off and if a commercial revival of the Leader Price discount stores continues.
Analysts will be looking for an update on Casino's expansion plan amid speculation it is among the companies still in the running for Carrefour's estimated $600 million assets in Thailand.
Casino has a target for a 2010 net debt-to-EBITDA ratio below the 2.2 times it reached in 2009 as it pursues a plan to sell 1 billion euros of assets.

Following is a summary of expectations for Carrefour (figures in millions of euros):
                     TOTAL           FRANCE         HYPERMARKETS
 AVERAGE     25.516          10.666            5.362
 MEDIAN        25.449          10.660            5.326
 HIGH             25.818          10.886            5.499
 LOW             25.209          10.415            5.292
 Q3 2009        24.018          10.400            5.292
 Pct change    +6.2            +2.6             +1.3

Following is a summary of expectations for Casino (figures in millions of euros):
                    TOTAL          FRANCE       HYPERMARKETS
AVERAGE      7.224            4.651         1.415
 MEDIAN        7.152            4.561         1.416
 HIGH             7.745            5.527         1.439
 LOW             7.083            4.602         1.385
 Q3 2009        7.117            4.489         1.444
 Pct change   +1.5             +3.6          -2 pct


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