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