French retailer Casino saw its losses rise tenfold in the first half of the year: a net loss of 2.23 billion euros came on top of falling sales. A decision on whether Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky may take over the group is due later today.
Last year’s net loss of 259 million euros almost increased tenfold to 2.23 billion below zero, mainly due to impairments. The French supermarket chain is gradually being crushed by its huge mountain of debt and readily admits that its future is uncertain. Questions arise once more as sales also continue to fall: – 4.2 % in the past six months to 10.96 billion euros, while high inflation is nevertheless boosting sales at competitors.
Later today, the group’s creditors are expected to greenlight the planned takeover by Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière. The duo are looking to inject 1.2 billion in capital and plan a major debt restructuring.
Kretinsky would also like to sell Latin American operations of the group, especially the Brazilian branch that employs three quarters of all Casino employees. On French soil, unions fear the new owners will go on a franchise spree, like Delhaize and Intermarché, and want to spin off a large number of shops. Discounter Lidl has already applied to acquire the stores for which Casino sees no future.