It was a tale of two retailers last week, two companies separated by the English Channel. Ailing French giant Carrefour posted weak 2008 figures and laid out plans to bounce back in 2009. Meanwhile, in the UK, Morrisons, buoyed by a robust 2008, outlined its blueprint for expansion.

All was not rosy in the UK garden, however, with upmarket retailer Waitrose reporting falling profits and Uniq, the sandwich-to-desserts maker, making a fresh attempt to revitalise its business - with the possibility of its European operations mooted. These were the top stories on just-food this week.

FRANCE: Carrefour looks to boost sales, margins
French retail giant Carrefour plans to cut operating costs and increase price promotions in a bid to boost earnings and kick-start sales after posting flat annual profits.

UPDATE: UK: Morrisons CEO outlines expansion plans
Morrisons CEO Marc Bolland said this afternoon (12 March) that the UK's fourth-largest retailer would continue to expand and had identified over 100 sites for new stores.

UK: Waitrose profit dip hurts John Lewis results
UK retailer Waitrose posted a fall in full-year operating profit today (11 March), weighing on the results of owner John Lewis.

UK: Uniq's European future in doubt as losses widen
Uniq, the struggling UK-based food group, has appointed advisers to consider the future of its businesses in France and northern Europe after posting deeper annual losses today (11 March).

US: Own-label sales help drive Kroger profits
US retail giant Kroger today (10 March) booked an 8% rise in fourth-quarter profits and said its own-label products had offered "real value" to consumers.

SWITZ/US: Hershey buys Callebaut Asian chocolate unit
Hershey has acquired Van Houten Singapore, the Asian consumer business of Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut.

US: PepsiCo rebrands Quaker
PepsiCo will rebrand its breakfast and snack subsidiary Quaker Oats Co. in order to reposition the business and highlight the health benefits of eating its key ingredient - wholegrain oats.

UK: Innocent casts net for bidders
UK food and beverage group Innocent has said it is scouting for potential bidders for a minority stake in its company.

US: Smithfield posts loss on high costs
US hog and pork producer Smithfield Foods posted a US$1.03bn third-quarter loss today (12 March) hurt by high feed and restructuring costs.

UPDATE: NETHERLANDS: Arla eyes Northern Europe
Arla Foods has said its planned entry into Dutch fresh milk market will further the group's ambition to drive growth across northern Europe.