Retailer Carrefour has announced a rise in sales to in the first half of 2005, although sales in France fell and net income was lower.

First half sales rose to €35.44bn (US$43.84bn), compared with €34.549bn last year.

Net income fell to €687m from €737m, although net income from continuing operations was up marginally at €688m from €687m.

Sales in France fell to €16.887bn, from €17.063bn, with sales in Europe as a whole up to €13.495bn from €12.779bn.

Sales in the Americas rose by €2.321bn from €2.243bn, while those in Asia rose to €2.738bn from €2.464bn.

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“We have begun to deliver on the goals we set for 2005,” the company said. “We are attracting more customers to our French hypermarkets… An increase in customer
transactions is evidence that our offer is increasingly attractive to consumers.

“We have improved further profitability outside of France,” it said. “We have made progress upgrading the quality of our asset portfolio having divested Japan, Mexico and our French food service business and made tactical acquisitions in France, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey and Brazil.”

“Our preparations for accelerated growth in new square metres are on track,” it said. “We are on plan to add around 1.4 million square metres of new space in 2005 through new stores and extensions as well as through acquisitions.”

“Going forward, we are confident and determined, but prudent,” it said. “Our progress so far this year gives us confidence that a determined and consistent pricing policy will continue to deliver results in France.”