Press - 2010

27 July 2010

Partnership agreement between Casino and Groupe Crédit Mutuel-CIC

Casino announced today that it has signed a long-term partnership agreement with Groupe Crédit Mutuel-CIC to develop financial products and services in France through its Banque Casino subsidiary.

Under the terms of the agreement, Groupe Crédit Mutuel-CIC will acquire a 50% stake in Banque Casino, which is currently 60% owned by Casino and 40% by LaSer Cofinoga. Casino has exercised its call option on LaSer Cofinoga’s shares, which along with 10% of Casino’s current stake, will be sold to Crédit Mutuel. The transaction is expected to be completed over the next 18 months.

This project is subject to approval by regulatory authorities.

Founded in 2001, Banque Casino provides consumer loans and insurance/personal risk products to Géant, Casino Supermarkets and Cdiscount customers. The bank serves nearly one million clients and has approximately €1 billion in loans outstanding.

Saint-Etienne, 27 July 2010


Investors Contacts
Nadine COULM, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 17,
Aline NGUYEN, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 85,

20 July 2010

Leader Price rolls out a new store concept and broadens its offering

Leader Price, the food discount banner of Groupe Casino is offering a new store concept with improved response to customer needs and expectations. Leader Price is therefore revamping its points of sale while developing special product ranges and incorporating, for the first time, benchmark national brand products.

Since the beginning of the year, 25 stores of the banner have switched to the new concept within the framework of an ambitious roll-out programme that will go on until 2012.

Revamped stores

The pan-national banner is proposing a new, more user-friendly store set-up :

  • an updated logo : Logo Leader Price
  • a modern, friendly atmosphere
  • new colours (grey and multicolor vertical designs)
  • a fresh produce area on entering the store, enhanced with special lighting
  • fresh bread, baked on the premises
  • LCD screens highlighted at check-outs presenting the offers, ideas for recipes.

The discount options have been strengthened :

  • big-sized simple and powerful price displays
  • pallets on floor, bulk products, a cross aisle with special offers in containers
  • simplified build, units and advertising at the place of sale.

An offer bolstered by innovative Leader Price products and a selection of popular national brands

Thanks to the work done on the mix, with special attention to reinforcing low price products and developing special own-brand product ranges, Leader Price covers the daily requirements of its customers with quality low price products.

The success of the Leader Price brand lies in its ability to innovate, forward think new trends, create new tastes, choice and diversity. To do this, the R&D cells, backed by Jean-Pierre Coffe and fully dedicated to creating new products, has been fitted out with reinforced resources. Nearly 90 new innovative products sought after by consumers are poised to complete the Leader Price range from the second half of the year including jam, sliced bread free from preservatives, yoghurts free from thickening agents, etc.
The packaging of the Leader Price products has also been reworked to give a more modern identity and improve visibility of the offering on the shelves.

In addition, in order to meet with increasing customer demand, validated by the Kantar World Panel surveying 20,000 customers, Leader Price has decided to feature national brands on its shelves.
From 26th July, an initial one hundred or so popular national brand products will be available in close to 260 stores with the aim of extending this across its network of 600 stores mid October bringing its offering to 250 references.
The presence of benchmark national brands will boost attraction to the banner and will also reinforce the authenticity and visibility of Leader Price products in categories where the national brand is particularly strong.

A competitive edge via a substantial drop in permanent prices

Leader Price is undertaking to propose the best value for money products on the market whatever the range or brand. Hence, since the beginning of the year, Leader Price, has significantly dropped its own-brand and low price product prices in order to bolster its discount ranking and is making this known by way of a noticeable comparative advertising campaign.

Jean-Michel Duhamel, Chairman of Franprix-Leader Price, has declared : “Leader Price’s recovery plan set up early 2010 with the creation and rolling out of the new concept as well as substantial and permanent price drop campaigns have now produced positive effects. The deployment of a particularly innovative Leader Price brand offering and the introduction of a selection of key popular national brand products complete this customer requirement-oriented initiative.”
Tuesday July 20th, 2010


Press contact :
Karine Allouis
Phone 01 53 70 74 81
2 July 2010

GPA and Casas Bahia completed the negotiations for their agreement

GPA announced yesterday the signature of an amendment of its joint-venture agreement with Casas Bahia, the largest retailer of durable goods in Brazil.

With the amendment, GPA and Casas Bahia agree to review certain provisions of the agreement signed between the two groups in December 2009, without changing its general principles. The terms of the amendment are detailed in GPA’s press release* published yesterday.

The parties estimate that the joint-venture will be implemented within a period of up to 120 days.

This strategic partnership will allow GPA to strengthen its leadership in the Brazilian retail sector.

Casino welcomes this agreement which highlights the strategic importance of GPA and the Brazilian market to the Group.


Paris – 2nd July 2010


*Link to GPA’s press release : 

Investor Relations
Nadine COULM, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 17,
Aline NGUYEN, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 85,

21 June 2010

Increase in Casino’s Stake in GPA following issue of new shares

On 29 April 2010, the General Meeting of GPA shareholders approved the issue to Casino of 1.1 million new shares of preferred stock at the price of BRL 60.39 per share*, for a total value of BRL 67 million (€30 million). This issue, which was completed in the beginning of June, raised Casino’s stake in GPA from 33.4% to 33.7%.

In line with the press release published on 4th May 2009, this issue was carried out in accordance with the agreement signed in May 2005 with the Abilio Diniz family. Under the terms of this agreement, in late 2006, Casino transferred to GPA the goodwill arising on its successive investments in the company.

Amortisation of this goodwill will generate total tax savings of BRL 517 million (€235 million) for GPA over an estimated six-year period beginning in 2008. In exchange for the transferred goodwill, GPA has agreed to pay 80% of the tax savings back to Casino in the form of new GPA preferred stock.

When the goodwill amortisation period ends, Casino’s interest in GPA will stand at around 35%**, based on the current share price.

Saint-Etienne – 21 June 2010

*Average share price weighted by trading volumes over the 15 trading days before the date of notice of the General Meeting.
**If minority shareholders exercise their pre-emptive subscription rights, GPA will repay part of Casino’s share of the tax savings in cash, thereby reducing the increase in Casino’s stake in the company.


Investors Contacts
Nadine COULM, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 17,
Aline NGUYEN, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 85,

14 April 2010

Sustained Sales Growth in First-Quarter 2010: 5.6%

Faster organic growth: up 3.5% (vs. 0.1% in Q4-2009)
Good performance by the convenience formats in France
Double-digit growth in International operations

CA T1 2010Consolidated net sales rose by a sustained 5.6% in the first quarter of 2010.

The favourable impact of the consolidation of Ponto Frio by Grupo Pão de Açúcar was offset by the deconsolidation of Venezuelan operations (2) as of 1 January, leading to a negative 1.2% impact from changes in the scope of consolidation. The positive 3.4% currency effect primarily reflected the sharp increase in the Brazilian real and the Colombian peso against the euro during the period.
Higher petrol prices added 0.9% to growth, while the calendar effect was a slightly negative 0.3% in France and neutral in International operations.
Organic growth for the quarter stood at 3.5% (2.6% excluding petrol), representing a noticeable acceleration from fourth-quarter 2009 (down 0.2% excluding petrol).
* *
 (2) On 17 January 2010, President Hugo Chavez announced the nationalisation of the Exito hypermarkets operated in Venezuela. Talks are still underway with the government with a view to selling a majority stake in Cativen, the company which consolidates all the Group operations in Venezuela.

In France, the sales trend improved in the first quarter, with organic sales excluding petrol slightly down (0.9%) versus a 2.7% decrease in fourth-quarter 2009.

–  All of the convenience formats (Casino Supermarkets, Monoprix, Superettes and Franprix) reported a tangible improvement in performance, with a gain in total sales for the period.

–  Cdiscount maintained its strong sales momentum.

–  The sales trend at Géant Casino and Leader Price gradually improved over the quarter, reflecting the initial impact of reinvesting the gains from the pooled purchasing of private-label and value-line products.

International operations, which represented 36% of sales, saw a sharp acceleration in organic growth, to 10.6% from 4.8% in fourth-quarter 2009.

–  Operations in South America reported double-digit (13.3%) growth, impelled notably by the very strong gains in Brazil.

–  In Asia, organic growth remained brisk, rising 7.3% on the back of firm sales in Thailand and sustained strong growth in Vietnam.

In all, the solid first-quarter performance attested to the good positioning of the Group’s business portfolio:

–  A favourable business mix in France, weighted towards the convenience and discount formats, and leadership in the non-food e-commerce segment.

–  In international markets, leadership positions in countries with high growth potential.

Groupe Casino is confident in its ability to strengthen its market share in France by improving the price competitiveness of its banners through the reinvestment of purchasing gains and by faster expansion in the convenience and discount formats.
Internationally, the quality of the Group’s assets should drive further strong and profitable growth.
The Group will pursue its €1 billion asset disposal programme and confirms its target of a net debt/EBITDA ratio of less than 2.2x at year-end 2010.
* *
Sales in France rose 0.4% over the period. Petrol sales had a 1.3% positive impact.
Excluding petrol, sales ended the period down a slight 0.9%, compared with a 2.7% decline in fourth-quarter 2009.
The first quarter therefore saw a tangible improvement in the sales trend, led by a good performance across all of the convenience formats.

CA T1 2010

Franprix/Leader Price
Franprix’s same-store sales rose 0.6%, driven by a 0.8% increase in footfalls. The banner’s attractiveness has been enhanced by the faster deployment of the new store concept, with 34 units upgraded during the quarter versus 39 in all of 2009. The impact has been highly satisfactory, with double-digit sales gains at the renovated stores.

Leader Price reported a 10.8% drop in same-store sales. The sales trend improved in March, reflecting the initial impact of price cuts thanks to the purchasing gains resulting from the pooling of the Group’s private-label and value-line products.
Expansion continued in line with the business plan, with the opening of 15 Franprix stores and 9 Leader Price stores during the quarter.
In all, Franprix-Leader Price sales ended the period down 3.5%.
Géant Casino sales declined by 4.7% on a same-store basis, excluding petrol.
The average basket was stable, up 0.2%, footfalls were down 4.9%.
Food sales were down 4.0%. Purchasing gains began to be reinvested mainly in March. These significant, targeted price cuts will be pursued and will help to strengthen the banner’s price competitiveness.
Non-food sales declined by 6.4% over the period, notably due to the process of repositioning the offer around the most revenue generating and profitable categories. The banner thus continued to cut back on the assortment of large appliances. On the other hand, certain multimedia families and small electrical appliances saw a significant increase in sales over the quarter.

Convenience stores

Casino Supermarkets’ same-store sales improved tangibly over the quarter, declining by 1% year-on-year, compared with a 3.4% decrease in fourth-quarter 2009. Average spend rose by 0.7%, led by the banner’s expertise in fresh and chilled food products.
Excluding petrol, total sales were up 1.2%.
Led by growth in both food and non-food business, Monoprix reported a solid 2.3% increase in same-store sales, an excellent performance that once again demonstrated the success of the banner’s differentiated positioning.
A Citymarché unit and two Naturalia stores were opened during the period.
Total sales were up 3.4%.
Superette sales eased back a limited 1.2% in the first quarter, as the favourable impact of new franchisees was offset by sustained rationalisation of the store base.

Other businesses
Cdiscount maintained strong sales growth. New initiatives are being planned to strengthen the company’s growth momentum, such as the possibility of picking up purchases in Géant Casino and superette stores and the development of private label products.
In all, sales by the other businesses (Cdiscount, Mercialys, Casino Cafeteria and Banque Casino) rose by 6.4% over the quarter.

International sales rose by a very robust 16.4% over the quarter.
The favourable impact of Ponto Frio’s consolidation by Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA) was offset by the deconsolidation of Venezuelan operations as of 1 January 2010, leading to a negative 4.5% impact from changes in the scope of consolidation.
The positive 10.3% currency effect primarily reflected the sharp increase in the Brazilian real and the Colombian peso against the euro during the period.
The significant acceleration in organic growth, to 10.6% from 4.9% in first-quarter 2009, was led by very strong growth in South America (up 13.3%) and sustained robust momentum in Asia (up 7.3%).

CA T1 2010

In South America, same-store sales rose 10.5% over the quarter (versus 4.4% in 2009), lifted by double-digit growth in Brazil and improved sales both in Colombia and Argentina.

–  GPA’s same-store sales rose 18.1%*, led by both food and non food. All of the banners contributed to this excellent performance. E-business sales increased by a very strong 65.3% including VAT. Reported sales surged 50.2%* on the consolidation of Ponto Frio, which saw a sustained turnaround with sales up more than 50% over the period.

–  In Colombia, Exito saw a tangible 2.6% improvement in same-store sales, while expansion drove a 3.7%* increase as reported.

Operations in Asia reported another quarter of robust organic growth, up 7.3% thanks to an improvement in Big C’s same-store sales in Thailand and sustained strong momentum in Vietnam. A hypermarket was opened in Vietnam, increasing the store base to 10 at 31 March.
Performance in the Indian Ocean was satisfactory over the quarter, with a 0.3% decline in same-store sales and a 1.9% increase on an organic basis.
*Data published by the company
Main changes in the scope of consolidation
• Ponto Frio has been consolidated by the Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA) since 1 July 2009.
• Following the acquisition, GPA launched a rights issue, which had the effect of reducing Groupe Casino’s stake from 35.0% at 30 June to 33.7% as of 21 September 2009.
• On 17 January 2010, President Hugo Chavez announced the nationalisation of the Exito hypermarkets operated in Venezuela. Talks are still underway with the government with a view to selling a majority stake in Cativen, the company which consolidates all the Group operations in Venezuela. Venezuelan operations have no longer been fully consolidated since 1 January 2010.

CA T1 2010

CA T1 2010

CA T1 2010


Press Contacts
Caroline Simon, +33 (0)1 53 70 74 65,
Karine Allouis, +33 (0)1 53 70 74 81,


Investors Contacts
Nadine COULM, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 17,
Aline NGUYEN, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 85,

Saint-Etienne –14 April 2010

2 April 2010

The Cactus Group signs an adhesion contract with the central buying office of the Casino Group

The retail high flyer of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Cactus Group has just entered into an adhesion contract with the central buying office of Groupe Casino.

Whilst remaining fully independent commercially and in terms of its equity, the Cactus Group can tap into attractive buying conditions and access quality own-brand product sourcing.

Groupe Casino boosts its multi-format, multi-banner central buying office dedicated to its highly diversified members, aimed at long-standing reinforced cooperations with manufacturers.

Saint Etienne, 2nd April 2010

About Cactus Group
The Cactus Group is the retail leader of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is the country’s second biggest private job provider and has been a part of the daily lives of those in Luxembourg and the bordering countries for over forty years. It namely operates 2 hypermarkets, 10 supermarkets and 7 convenience stores.
2009 Cactus Group’s consolidated sales : 770 M€ with manpower close to 4,000.

About Groupe Casino
Groupe Casino is one of the global food retail leaders.
Thanks to the proximity relations Casino has forged both in terms of location and business with its customers, it can match each and everyone’s requirements with their aspirations, differences and life styles in mind.
Groupe Casino operates 9,364 stores in France via its different banners “Géant Casino”, ” Supermarchés Casino”, “Franprix “, “Leader Price”, “Monoprix”, “Petit Casino”, “Spar” or “Vival”.
Groupe Casino is also set up in a dozen countries boasting over 1,600 stores including in Thailand and Brazil where it holds a leading position.
In 2009 Groupe Casino achieved consolidated sales of 26.7 billion euros. It employs close to 200,000 people throughout the world

Press contact : Caroline Simon, 01 53 70 74 65,

4 March 2010

Full-Year 2009 Results

  • Tangible growth in attributable net profit (8.6%) and EPS (up 12.2%)
  • Moderate 4.5% decline in trading profit (down 2.5% organic)
  • Significant reduction in net debt at €4,072m (from €4,851m at end-2008)

    • Improvement in free cash flow generation to €701m
    • €1bn asset disposal target for end-2010 already two-thirds met
  • Improvement in net debt/EBITDA ratio to 2.2x
  • €2.65 ordinary dividend recommended (up 4.7%)
  • Target of net debt/EBITDA ratio of less than 2.2x confirmed at end-2010
  • A stronger sales dynamic in France

    • More competitive prices by reinvesting purchasing gains
    • Faster expansion in the convenience and discount formats
  • Stepped-up growth in international markets
    • Sustained expansion, notably in Brazil and Vietnam

“In a difficult economic environment, Casino recorded solid results in 2009 while significantly improving its financial flexibility,” said Jean-Charles Naouri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Casino. “Far-reaching action has been taken by our teams over several years to establish the Group in the most promising retail formats and geographic markets, and this action is continuing to pay off. Our leadership positions, solid fundamentals and expansion programmes position the Group for growth and market share gains in 2010 and beyond.”


(Audited financial statements)


Casino’s 2009 results demonstrated its business model’s resilience in an unfavourable economic environment.
Sales were stable on an organic basis excluding petrol (and down 1% including petrol), reflecting the resilience of convenience formats in France and sustained growth in international markets. EBITDA and trading margins were stable on an organic basis thanks to margin improvement in international markets and the rapid deployment of cost-reduction plans.


In France, sales declined by 3.8% on an organic basis, or 2.7% excluding petrol. Convenience formats held up well, thereby demonstrating their good fit with consumer expectations. Cdiscount recorded double-digit sales growth, consolidating its leadership in the French B-to-C e-commerce market.
Trading profit was down 11.1% as reported and 9.7% on an organic basis. Trading margin held up well (dipping 30 bp on an organic basis), reflecting the favourable mix of formats and the rapid deployment of the cost-reduction program.

  • Sales in convenience formats were down 1.7% on an organic basis (excluding petrol). Sales were stable at Casino Supermarkets (excluding the effect of affiliate contract terminations) and Monoprix. Superettes sales declined by 4.1% under the impact of the ongoing optimisation of the store base. Convenience trading margin remained high at 4.9%.
  • Same-store sales at Franprix were stable, attesting to the attractiveness of the banner, which also benefited from its successful new store concept. As for the discount sector, Leader Price was adversely affected by customers’ scaled-back spending. Firm total sales at Franprix-Leader Price (down 1.4% on an organic basis) reflected both banners’ faster expansion during the year. Trading margin remained solid at 6.1%, despite a 9.1% decline in same-store sales at Leader Price.
  • In a more competitive business environment, Géant Casino pursued its controlled marketing strategy in food and continued to reposition its non-food offer. Tight control over costs partially offset the impact of lower sales on trading margin, which stood at 2.1%.
  • The other businesses (Retail property, Cdiscount, Banque Casino, Casino Restauration) enjoyed sustained organic growth in sales (up 6.8%), led by Cdiscount’s strong performance. The 36.2% increase in trading profit was led by Mercialys (boosted by transfers of assets from Casino) and by retail-related businesses.


Sales ininternational markets rose by a robust 6.7%, led by sustained 4.9% organic sales growth and Ponto Frio’s consolidation by GPA (Grupo Pao de Açucar).
Trading profit rose by 12% (15% on an organic basis), reflecting solid sales growth and effective cost-cutting plans.

  • Sustained sales growth in South America (up 5.7% on an organic basis) was led by an excellent performance in Brazil, where same-store sales rose by a very strong 12.7%*. GPA crossed a major strategic milestone during the year with the acquisition of Globex (Ponto Frio) and the partnership with Casas Bahia’s retail operations. This made GPA the undisputed leader in consumer electronics and household appliances and strengthened its position as Brazil’s N°1 retailer. Trading margin for the region was down 40 bp on a reported basis to 3.8%, due to the impact of Ponto Frio’s consolidation and margin decline in Venezuela. Excluding Venezuela, trading margin in South America rose by 28 bp on an organic basis, reflecting sharply higher profitability in Brazil.
  • In Asia, organic growth in sales was a solid 5.1%, lifted by sustained expansion in Thailand in 2008 and very strong advances in same-store sales in Vietnam. Trading profit was up a sharp 13.7% (12.1% on an organic basis). Trading margin improved by a significant 34 bp to 5.4%, led by both Vietnam and Thailand.

 * Data published by the company



The rapid deployment of action plans enabled the Group to significantly improve its operating efficiency:

  • Cost and inventory reduction targets were exceeded
  • Capex was effectively managed

The Group enhanced its financial flexibility thanks to:

  • Significant improvement in free cash flow generation
  • Completion of two-thirds of the asset disposal program
  • Successful Exito rights issue and renegotiation of the Carulla put

Net debt was reduced substantially to €4,072 million at year-end 2009 (from €4,851 million one year earlier) and the net debt/EBITDA ratio was brought down to 2.2x (compared with 2.5x at 31 December 2008).
The Group’s liquidity position was strengthened through the issue of €1.5 billion in bonds during the year. The February 2010 bond exchanges improved the Group’s debt profile and lengthened maturities.

At the Annual General Meeting on 29 April 2010, shareholders will be asked to approve the payment of a dividend of €2.65 per ordinary share, an increase of 4.7%. The dividend will be paid from
10th May 2010.


Casino has strong fundamentals to drive future growth:

  • A favourable business mix in France weighted towards convenience and discount formats and N°1 ranking in B-to-C e-commerce.
  • Leadership in private-label in France.
  • Top-ranking positions in international high potential markets.
  • Recognized expertise in leveraging property assets to create value.

The Group will continue to improve its operating efficiency through ongoing cost and inventory reductions and a selective investment strategy.
Casino will pursue its €1 billion asset disposal programme and confirms its target of a net debt/EBITDA ratio of less than 2.2x at end-2010.

In France, Casino intends to strengthen market share by improving the banners’ price competitiveness through the reinvestment of purchasing gains and faster expansion of the convenience and discount formats.
Internationally, the quality of the Group’s assets in high potential markets should drive strong and profitable business growth in 2010.

2010 Investor Calendar

Wednesday, 14 April (after the close of trading): First-quarter 2010 sales announcement
Thursday, 29 April: Annual General Meeting
Thursday, 29 July 2010 (before the market opens): Second-quarter 2010 sales and first-half results

2009 RESULTS (Audited financial statements)

FY 2009


Underlying profit corresponds to profit from continuing operations adjusted for the impact of other operating income and expense (as defined in the “Significant Accounting Policies” section of the notes to the consolidated financial statements), non-recurring financial items and non-recurring income tax expense/benefits.
Non-recurring financial items include fair value adjustments to certain financial instruments whose market value may be highly volatile. For example, fair value adjustments to financial instruments that do not qualify for hedge accounting and embedded derivatives indexed to the Casino share price are excluded from underlying profit.
Non-recurring income tax expense/benefits correspond to tax effects related directly to the above adjustments and to direct non-recurring tax effects. In other words, the tax on underlying profit before tax is calculated at the standard average tax rate paid by the Group.
Underlying profit is a measure of the Group’s recurring profitability.

FY 2009

Press Contacts
Caroline Simon, +33 (0)1 53 70 74 65,
Karine Allouis, +33 (0)1 53 70 74 81,

Investors Contacts
Nadine COULM, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 17,
Aline NGUYEN, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 85,

pdf Dowload the press release
pdf Download the presentation shown during the information meeting


3 February 2010

Successful Completion of Exchange Offer

Casino today successfully completed its offer, launched on 26 January, to exchange its notes due 2012 and 2013.

In exchange, Casino issued new notes in an amount of €888 million due February 2017 and paying interest equivalent to the Mid-Swap rate plus a spread of 135 bps.

The exchange offer was highly successful, with qualifying holders tendering around €1.5 billion in notes, or almost twice the maximum acceptance amount.

It has reduced debt repayments due 2012 and 2013 by, respectively €440 million and €354 million, thereby improving the Group’s debt profile and lengthening maturities.
The offer was managed by BNP Paribas, Calyon, JP Morgan, Natixis, RBS and Société Générale.


Saint-Etienne, 3 February 2010


Press Contacts
Caroline Simon, +33 (0)1 53 70 74 65,
Karine Allouis, +33 (0)1 53 70 74 81,


Investors Contacts
Nadine COULM, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 17,
Aline NGUYEN, +33 (0)1 53 65 64 85,
pdf Download the Press Release

23 January 2010

Supporting childhood: the Casino Foundation, chaired by Jean-Charles Naouri, launches its initial action

Fondation d'Entreprise Groupe Casino

Saint-Etienne, France – June 23, 2010 – The Casino Foundation is initiating its first program to combat the loneliness experienced by children hospitalised through a partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Margency and the Docteur Souris Association.

The Casino Foundation, founded in 2009 at the initiative of Jean-Charles Naouri, is committed to helping counter the feelings of isolation and loneliness of hundreds of hospitalised children. In partnership with the Association Docteur Souris, founded in 2003, the Foundation will equip the paediatric wards of three hospitals with laptop computers to provide young patients with access to information technologies and communications capabilities.

The donation – which includes a hundred laptops as well as support and maintenance services – will enable the children to communicate with family and friends, receive tutoring and access electronic entertainment. This long-term program also is part of the teaching program developed by the hospital for its young patients.

The Children’s Hospital of Margency in the Val d’Oise (Ile-de-France region), an institution run by the French Red Cross, is the first site chosen by the Casino Foundation for the program’s deployment. Approximately 100 children suffering from serious illness receive care at the hospital, often remaining for months at a time. The hospital’s school, the visiting parent’s house, children’s rooms and recovery rooms will be equipped with the laptops provided by the Casino Foundation. In addition, the Foundation will provide for the training of teams in the use of software programs and weekly professional maintenance services.

In coming months, the program will be extended to the Timone-Enfants University Hospital Centre in Marseille and the paediatric units of the Saint-Etienne University Hospital Centre.

These projects are central to the Casino Foundation’s mission, which focuses the philanthropic actions of the Casino Group and its subsidiaries — in France and other countries where it operates — on the priority of helping disadvantaged children.

Jean-Charles Naouri, Casino Chairman and CEO of Groupe Casino, said: “Our intention is to offer children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds the means to acquire the knowledge and the ability to understand the world in which they live, enabling them to look ahead to their future. Through the Casino Foundation, we hope to help awaken the potential of children in need and to contribute to their development. The decision by Casino employees that the Foundation’s first action should be to support the work of Docteur Souris and the Hospital Margency speaks to our shared values of mutual support and involvement with our community.”