Further growth in emerging markets has boosted first-quarter sales at Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer.

Carrefour said last night (13 May) that sales in its “growth markets” of Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia, jumped by almost a third during the first three months of the year.

“Resilient” sales in France and a “robust” performance in Spain led to first-quarter group revenue of EUR23.4bn (US$36.1bn). On a like-for-like basis, sales were up 4.1%.

“The first quarter continued the strong momentum of the fourth quarter of 2007, recording the second consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth,” Carrefour said. “This growth reflects a positive customer response to our on-going multi-format strategy to make the Carrefour brand work harder.”

Carrefour said it was “confident” it would meet its financial targets for 2008. The company is eyeing organic sales growth of 6-8% and expects operating profit to grow faster than sales.