PARIS, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Retailer Casino said sales fell in the fourth quarter in its core French market, with hypermarkets taking the worst hit, after it decided to offer fewer promotions to fund lasting price cuts amid a gloomy economic climate.
Casino, which controls Brazil’s top retailer Grupo Pao de Acucar, said it offset the French weakness thanks to robust growth in emerging markets in Latin America and Asia.
Casino, which competes with Carrefour and unlisted Leclerc, Intermarche and Auchan, said group fourth-quarter sales reached 12.856 billion euros ($17.16 billion), in line with the 12.8 billion-euro forecast in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of analysts.
Stripping out acquisitions, currency effects and excluding petrol, this was a like-for-like rise of 3.2 percent and a slowdown from 4.2 percent growth in the third quarter.
Same-store sales excluding petrol at Casino’s Geant hypermarkets plunged 9.9 percent in the quarter following a 5.4 percent drop in the third quarter. ($1 = 0.7492 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)