Casino keeps goals for French profits, cash flow growth
PARIS, March 9 (Reuters) - French retailer Casino on Wednesday confirmed its profit growth and cash flow goals for France this year as weakness in recession-hit Brazil and the cost of price cuts in France helped set 2015 operating profit back 35 percent.
Casino, trying to address concerns over its balance-sheet and under fire from investment firm Muddy Waters, said it would use proceeds from its disposal plan to reduce debt.
It kept its dividend unchanged at 3.12 euros per share.
Operating income was 1.446 billion euros ($1.59 billion) down from 2.231 billion in 2014, in line with analysts expectations of 1.45 billion euros.
Casino said that for French operations in 2016 it was targeting earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around 900 million euros, trading profit of more than 500 million euros, and free cash flow of at least 200 million euros after financial expense and dividend payments.
($1 = 0.9111 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Andrew Callus)
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