French retail giant Carrefour has booked an increase in revenues and profits for fiscal 2010 and insisted that sales and profits are set to continue to grow during the coming year.

The world’s second-largest retailer said today (3 March) that pre-tax profits rose 12.2% to EUR1.18bn (US$1.64bn), up from EUR1.05bn. Net income totalled EUR433m, up 56.7% from EUR276m in 2009. 

During 2010, a number of one-off charges dented Carrefour’s income, including EUR185m in impairment charges, EUR201m in restructuring costs, a further EUR215m linked to the company’s transformation plan and EUR550m in charges in Brazil. Adjusted for exceptional items, net income from recurring operations was up 31% to EUR1.38bn, the company added.

During the 12 months, total revenue rose 5.5% to EUR91.51bn, the company said. However, sales were boosted by rising fuel prices and, excluding petrol, sales rose only 1.4%. Sales in Europe were down 1.8%, offsetting sales growth of 31.3% in Latin America and 18.5% in Asia.

“Carrefour achieved solid sales and operating profits in 2010 despite significant one-off charges,” chief executive Lars Olofsson said. “Current operating income, while slightly below our target, grew faster than sales, reflecting Carrefour’s success in reducing its operating costs and achieving purchasing gains, two key pillars of our Transformation Plan.”

Carrefour said that it expects to generate savings of EUR480m and purchasing gains of EUR225m over the coming year.

During fiscal 2011, the company said that it would accelerate expansion with 800 store openings, notably in growth markets. The group indicated that it aims to increase sales and operating income without providing specific guidance.

The company announced on Tuesday that it intends to spin off 100% of its Dia discount business and 25% of its Carrefour Property unit in the form of two special dividends payable to the retailer’s shareholders. Commenting on the move, management insisted that the spin-offs represented best value for shareholders and would allow a greater focus on the Carrefour brand.

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