Casino cancels dividend in order to reduce debt


While turnover is rising for French retailer Casino, its net loss is also mounting. Reducing debt is now the priority: by the end of 2020, debt should be down to 1.5 billion euros, compared to the 5 billion of today.


Savings and closings

In the first half of 2019, Casino's turnover went up to 17.8 billion euros, which meant 0.3 percent growth (organic growth of 3.5 percent). Operational profits increased by 2.9 percent up to 347 million euros, but the underlying net loss went up to 16 million euros, whereas only last year, there was a profit of 46 million euros. The downturn came as the result of increasing costs and higher French corporate taxes.

On the domestic market, there was growth for both retail activities and the e-commerce department Cdiscount. The group is continuing with measures to save money and disposing of loss-making stores. 56 stores have already been sold and 118 were closed. Earlier this week, it was announced that Casino would be selling its activities on the French island of Réunion and on Madagascar. To further reduce the towering debt load, the company has now also announced that the dividend for the fiscal year of 2019 and the interim dividend for 2020 will not be paid. That would save 500 million euros.

Currently, the retailer is still carrying 4.7 billion euros of debt. By the end of 2020, the load should be down to 1.5 billion.