UPDATE 1-Casino confident French profit goal not dented by weak quarter

jueves 13 de octubre de 2016 04:35 GYT

* Q3 group sales up 2.9 pct like-for-like vs 3.8 pct in Q2

* French sales growth slows, robust Brazil food sales

* Keeps 2016 goal for French EBIT of over 500 mln euros (Adds CFO comments from call, shares, analyst)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Retailer Casino said it would hit its French profit forecast for the year on Thursday, despite a slowing of third quarter sales growth due to a weaker performance in France which overshadowed robust food sales in Brazil.

Casino, whose credit rating was cut to junk by Standard & Poor's in March, is under pressure to revive profits in France, where it makes 46 percent of its sales, at a time of slower growth in Brazil, its second-largest market after France.

"We are confident on our recovery plan in France. We are very confident in achieving the 500 million euros," Chief Financial Officer Antoine Giscard d'Estaing told a conference call.

Casino is banking on price cuts to boost sales at its French stores, as well as cost cuts and savings from a purchasing deal with French retailer Intermarche to achieve its profit goal.

Excluding acquisitions, currency effects and revenue on fuel, sales rose by 2.9 percent to 10.43 billion euros ($11.7 billion), down from 3.8 percent in the previous quarter.   Continuación...