Group turnover for French retailer Casino, could increase by 25% to E28.7bn by 2008, according to a new report by IGD.

In its report, Casino: Developing Long Term Potential, most of this growth will come from the more mature French operations, with French turnover increasing by E5.2bn to E23.5bn.

The report also predicts that the group turnover could rise to over E30bn if Casino gains full control of Laurus or another of its international businesses.

IGD also notes it expects to see continued growth in group store numbers to around 11,083 stores in 2008 - an increase of 2,449 since 2003, and also growth in sales area to 8.5m sq m.

The report states that the biggest challenge for Casino could be managing the tough French trading environment, but the company’s decision to return to an ultra-low pricing strategy should help to keep it ahead of competition.

Louise Spillard, business manager at IGD, said: “Casino is a retailer with log-term potential. France is likely to remain of strategic importance, while an increasingly profitable international business will contribute to a group growth.

“However, IGD believes that the key questions regarding the group’s long-term evolution is whether or not it will become involved in a major merger or acquisition.”