Carrefour today (11 October) claimed its domestic business is improving after reporting an increase in third-quarter French revenues, although underlying sales were down.

Sales in France “showed an improvement”, the retailer said, although like-for-like sales at constant exchange rates, excluding fuel but including VAT fell 1.5%.

However, Carrefour pointed to a 1.2% increase in total French sales. The growth was “supported by improving sales trends in hypermarkets and supermarkets and by petrol sales”, Carrefour said. “Sales at convenience formats continued to grow strongly,” it added.

Group sales grew 2.1% to EUR22.6bn (US$22.1m). Growth was driven by Latin America where revenues were up 5.2%, with accelerating growth in Brazil. Like-for-like sales were up 10.1% in the region.

Like-for-like sales at constant exchange rates, excluding fuel but including VAT, climbed 0.2%, Carrefour said.

Southern Europe, however, remained “difficult”. Like-for-like sales in Europe, excluding France, fell 3.3%. In Asia, like-for-likes dropped 3.1%.

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In the first nine months of the year, Carrefour’s total like-for-like sales were down 0.2%, with Latin America the only region to report an increase in like-for-like sales in the period, of 8.6%.

Sales grew 1.3% to EUR66.3bn, supported by emerging markets, notably Latin America, where sales grew 5.3%. 

The market responded positively to the results. Carrefour shares were up 4.9% to EUR16.77 at 09:30 BST today.