Carrefour Revenue Meets Estimates as All French Formats Grow

Carrefour SA, France’s largest retailer, reported fourth-quarter sales that met analysts’ estimates as revenue grew in all formats in its domestic market.

Total French sales rose 2.2 percent on a like-for-like basis, excluding petrol, driven by growth at the company’s convenience store formats, the Boulogne Billancourt, France-based company said in a statement today. Total revenue fell 1.5 percent to 22.2 billion euros ($30.2 billion), in line with the average of four analysts’ estimates.

Carrefour is midway through a three-year turnaround plan, which includes investing in France after retrenching from other markets where it viewed its prospects as weak. The retailer last month joined a group of institutional investors to buy 127 European shopping malls in a 2 billion-euro transaction, giving it more control of the sites around its domestic hypermarkets, its largest stores.

Currency fluctuations had a negative 3.8 percent effect on fourth-quarter sales, Carrefour said. The grocer is comfortable with analysts’ estimates for full-year recurring operating income of 2.19 billion euros, it said.

Carrefour’s domestic strategy includes maintaining low prices on food, stocking more non-branded goods on shelves and adding so-called drives, or pick-up points for online orders. Earnings in France jumped 75 percent in the first half of 2013, while domestic hypermarket sales rose for the first time in more than two years in the third quarter on a same-store basis.

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