French retail giant Carrefour has reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, hurt by a drop in consumer spending in France.

Fourth-quarter sales rose to €21.77bn (US$27.75bn) from €20.90bn a year earlier, narrowly missing analysts' forecasts of €21.84bn.

Full-year sales increased to €78.99bn from €76.78bn in the year-ago period. Analysts had been expecting, on average, full-year sales of €79.05bn, reported Reuters.

Carrefour's French operations account for around half of total sales. The company's fourth-quarter sales in France were almost flat at €10.76bn compared to €10.71bn a year earlier. Like-for-like sales fell 0.2%.

A fall in consumer spending particularly hit sales at Carrefour's French hypermarkets, where fourth-quarter like-for-like sales fell 1.8%, mainly due to lower sales of non-food items.

Fourth-quarter sales at the company's European operations, excluding France, rose 7.8%, or 3.7% on a like-for-like basis.

Sales at Carrefour's operations in Asia rose 7.4% to €1.35bn, or 1.5% on a like-for-like basis. Sales in Latin America rose 10% to €1.60bn, while like-for-like sales rose 2.1%.