Carrefour sales in China fell again

Carrefour sales in China fell again

Carrefour this morning (10 April) posted a mixed set of first-quarter sales that led to group revenue dropping almost 4%, although the decline met analyst expectations.

The French retail giant reported a 3.7% fall in sales to EUR19.79bn. A poll of analysts by Bloomberg had forecast sales would fall by that amount.

Carrefour said foreign exchange, this year's later Easter and a drop in petrol prices hit its top line. Without these factors, sales were up 3.7%, it said.

Like-for-like sales in France were up 1.7%, with growth across all formats.

In Spain, Carrefour reported its second quarter of sales growth in a row. Like-for-likes were up 0.6%. Sales in Belgium increased 1.5% on a like-for-like basis. However, sales in Italy tumbled 5.9%.

Carrefour's performance in emerging markets was mixed. Like-for-like sales in Latin America were up 12.7%, with sales in Brazil's accelerating compared to the fourth quarter.

However, like-for-likes in Asia dropped 2.5%, with sales in China down 3.1%.

Sanford Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne said Carrefour's results were "in line with expectations". He pointed to slowing like-for-like sales from Carrefour's hypermarkets and supermarkets but remarked the retailer's performance in Italy was "very poor".

He added: "International markets were very mixed, the recovery continued in Spain and Belgium, Brazil continues to see high growth; but Italy is in freefall and China is still showing negative like-for-like growth."