French supermarket group Auchan has posted a 5.8% increase in sales (excl. VAT) for 2007 to EUR36.7bn (US$58bn), with like-for-like growth at constant exchange rates of 2.8%.

The company said it had seen varying economic conditions in the markets in which it operates. “Although the context continues to be unfavourable in Western Europe due to the slowdown of the economy, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and China enjoyed strong economic growth, enabling the group to achieve a satisfactory performance in these regions,” the company said.

Auchan said organic growth has been more sustained in 2007 than in 2006, in particular in those international markets boosted by the conclusion of two major partnership agreements in the Ukraine and Russia, with the Furshet and Enka groups respectively.

The proportion of sales coming from outside France continued to increase steadily, the company said, and represented 48% in 2007 compared with 39% three years ago. Western Europe still accounts for 82% of total sales.

The company said it opened 39 hypermarkets during the year, 16 of which were in Europe, and 23 in China where Auchan now has over 100 stores.