French based supermarket chain Carrefour today (Thursday) announced a rise in profit before tax to €2.075bn (US$2.788bn) in 2004, compared with €2.049 in 2003.

Sales were €72.668bn in 2004, compared with €70.468bn in 2003.

“In 2004, we repositioned our French hypermarkets on price and food market share in France was stable overall,” the company said. “Although we lost share in hypermarkets, we gained market share of our supermarkets and hard discount stores which enabled us to maintain food market share overall in France.”

During the year Carrefour began to divest underperforming or non-core assets. “We sold or closed 57 supermarkets in Spain, Argentina and Brazil, and sold our 22% stake in the Portuguese retailer Modelo Continente” it said. “At the same time we reinforced our position in key markets through in-fill acquisitions (Greece, Poland) and franchise agreements (France, Italy).”