Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

Carrefour Reports Fourth Year of Annual Sales Growth on Europe

  • Spanish, Italian markets extend southern European recovery
  • Chinese sales slump as consumption weakens with economy

Carrefour SA, France’s largest retailer, reported fourth-quarter revenue that met analysts’ estimates, boosted by Spain and Italy, achieving a fourth year of annual growth.

Revenue rose 2.4 percent on an organic basis to 22.4 billion euros ($24 billion), Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based Carrefour said Friday in a statement. Analysts expected 22.6 billion euros, according to the median of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Georges Plassat has revived Carrefour’s European business by modernizing stores and adding collection points for online orders. Sales rose 2.5 percent in Spain and 3.5 percent in Italy. Gross domestic product growth in the euro zone is forecast to accelerate to 1.7 percent this year from 1.5 percent in 2015 and 0.9 percent in 2014. That’s offsetting a weak market in China, where Carrefour’s sales slumped 16 percent.

“This is a solid set of results for Carrefour,” wrote Bruno Monteyne, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “The main concern remains China, where sales continue to be in freefall.”

The stock rose 0.5 percent to 25.09 euros as of 9:02 a.m. in Paris.

The company reiterated a forecast for recurring operating income of 2.45 billion euros in 2015. Sales rose 3 percent on an organic basis last year.

Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA said Thursday that French fourth-quarter sales rose 2.7 percent on an organic basis and signaled that earnings for 2015 were below analysts’ estimates.

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