Casino supermarkets reports profit leap

French supermarket group Casino reported Thursday a surge of net profit for 2012 and was optimistic about prospects for 2013 owing to growth on international markets.

Casino said that last year net profit surged by 84.4 percent to 1.06 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

The group also presented what it termed standard results. These stripped out non-recurrent items and a gain after taking control of Brazilian company GPA, consolidated in the accounts in the second half of the year.

This gave a net profit of 564 million euros, slightly down from 565 million euros in 2011.

Operating profit amounted to 2.0 billion euros, a rise of 29.3 percent.

Activities outside France now account for 66.0 percent of operating profit from 52 percent in 2011, and for 56.0 percent of sales from 45.0 percent.

The results exceeded the expectations of analysts polled by Factset who had expected overall an increase of 26.0 percent in operating profit to 1.95 billion euros.

They also exceeded the group's own forecast of a rise of about 25.0 percent in operating profit.