French retailer Casino said first half sales were boosted by strong sales in its home market and the disposal of loss-making businesses Stateside.

Group sales for the six months to July 23 rose 5.5% to 31.4m euros compared to 12.8m euros last year.

In France, a 4.7% sales increase stemmed from new store openings including almost 60,000 square metres of retail space.

The group said its troubled Dutch retailer Laurus recorded operating income of 27m euros compared with an operating loss of 5m euros during the same period last year.

Casino has closed its unprofitable Taichung store in Taiwan.

At the group’s AGM Casino said a new board of directors had been elected, to separate the roles of chairman of the board and managing director.

Chairman of the board is Jean-Charles Naouri, vice chairman Christian Couvreux and the new chief executive is Pierre Bouchut, formerly MD of Casino.