French supermarket chain Carrefour has announced a 4.8% rise in pro forma group sales, including VAT, but ex-currency in the first quarter of 2004.
Including currency, sales grew 5.2%. On reported 2004 numbers, sales growth was 3.5% and 3.9% respectively. Total sales were €19.585bn (US$25.35bn).
In France, sales grew 0.9% to €9.38bn. The net calendar effect in the period in France was -1.6%, taking into account the number of trading days and the timing of Easter, the company said.
In French hypermarkets, we continued our efforts to strengthen our pricing image and we were able to increase the number of customer transactions by 0.3% and grow like for like sales ex. petrol by 0.5%, the company said.
Outside France, sales grew 8.7% on constant currency. Sales in Europe outside France grew 5.4%, to €7.317bn, rising of 1.5% on a like for like basis. Sales in Asia increased by 23.5% to €1.568bn, 7.9% in like for like terms. In Latin America, sales grew 11.5% to €1.321bn, with like for like sales up 9.0%.
During the quarter the company opened 263 new stores under its banner, accounting for 300,000m2 of new space. This included 20 hypermarkets, 37 supermarkets, 79 hard discount stores and 124 convenience stores. It now has 11,261 stores. “We are on track to deliver at least one million square metres of new space in 2005, as promised,” it said.