April 25, 2019 / 3:52 PM / a year ago

Retailer Casino's Q1 sales growth slows as France weakens

PARIS, April 25 (Reuters) - Retailer Casino, battling investor concerns over its high debt and ability to generate cash, said revenue growth slowed in the first-quarter, as weaker sales in its core French market overshadowed a more dynamic performance in Brazil.

Casino, which this week strengthened its ties with E-commerce giant Amazon, reiterated on Thursday its goals to deliver 10 percent growth per year in trading profit for its French retail business between 2019 and 2021, and the generation of 500 million euros ($557 million) in free cash flow per year.

Casino, which has been selling assets to reduce its debt and which also controls Brazil's Grupo Pao de Acucar, posted first-quarter sales of 8.853 billion euros.

Excluding acquisitions, currency effects and revenue on fuel, sales rose by 4.3 percent compared to 5.1 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018.

$1 = 0.8982 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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