French retail giant Carrefour has reported a 1.3% rise in first-half sales, narrowly beating analysts’ estimates.

Carrefour’s sales for the six months to the end of June were €37.45bn (US$42.4bn), compared to €36.97bn a year earlier. Analysts had forecast sales of €37.33bn, reported Reuters.

Sales in Europe were particularly strong, rising 8.4% in European countries outside France and 2.9% in Carrefour’s domestic market. Sales in Latin America fell 26.5%, while sales in Asia dropped 5.9%.

At constant exchange rates, sales rose 6.4% in the first half.

Carrefour said it opened 352 new stores in the first half, in line with an aggressive store-opening programme launched earlier this year.