Carrefour, the French retailer, has forecast a 35% fall in half-year profits from its troubled domestic unit.

The world’s second-largest retailer, which yesterday (16 June) appointed a new executive to lead its French business, confirmed today that it expects its operating profit in the market to drop 35% in the first half of 2011.

A spokesperson for Carrefour said the retailer had suffered from price competition from rival French retailers.

“[Carrefour] has increased prices while competitors like E.Leclerc and Intermarché have made more promotions,” the spokesperson said. “[Carrefour] also had one or two promotional campaigns that went wrong.”

Yesterday, Carrefour named Noël Prioux as the new executive director of its French operations.

CEO Lars Olofsson took over operational management of Carrefour France last month when former Tesco executive James McCann left after only 14 months in the role. Olofsson will continue to “oversee operations” in France but Prioux has been asked to implement a “recovery plan” for the business.

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The spokesperson said Carrefour was maintaining its forecast for group EBIT to grow in 2011. He said, however, that the retailer had not issued a public forecast for its French business.