Expansion in emerging countries has boosted first-half profits for French retail giant Auchan.

For the six months to the end of June, net profit attributable to the owners of the parent amounted to EUR230m (US$294m), compared to EUR143m last year.

EBITDA grew by 9.8% to EUR1.02bn, representing 5.1% of revenue compared with 4.9% in the first half of 2009.

Consolidated revenue climbed 6.8% to EUR20bn in the first half of 2010. France accounted for 46% of revenue, with 27% generated in the rest of Western Europe and 27% generated in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.

Vianney Mulliez, chairman of the board of directors, said: “The significant growth in revenue and earnings reflects our dynamic expansion in emerging countries and the resilience of our business in the euro zone, despite the still difficult economic conditions. We have seen the first signs of recovery for the supermarkets business, particularly in France.

“Overall, the performance in the first half gives us confidence to face with determination a second half that looks set to be uncertain and difficult,” he added.

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