UPDATE 1-Casino on track for profit rise after Brazil boosts Q2
* Q2 sales 11.93 bln eur vs consensus 11.8 bln eur
* Q2 French hypermarket sales improve from Q1
* Casino "comfortable" with consensus for 2014 EBIT - CFO (recasts, adds CFO comments, shares)
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, July 15 (Reuters) - Casino predicted its operating profit would rise this year after posting forecast-beating sales in the second quarter led by its top market of Brazil.
France, where Casino earns about 40 percent of revenue, also saw a marked improvement in hypermarkets sales compared with last quarter because of price cuts at such Geant Casino stores.
Nevertheless Finance Director Antoine Giscard d'Estaing said he did not expect a much improvement in France's economy and that cash-strapped shoppers would continue to watch prices.
Sales at LeaderPrice discount stores however fell 8.6 percent in the quarter because they were still in early in the process of lowering prices. The sales are expected to begin growing again in early 2015.
"At this stage for 2014 EBIT we are comfortable with market consensus of around 2.4 billion euros," said Giscard d'Estaing on a conference call, referring to core operating profit. Continuación...