French retailer Guyenne et Gascogne today (Thursday) announced sales of €1.167bn (US$1.56bn) in 2004, compared with €1.169bn in 2003.

Earnings before interest and tax were €40.3m compared with €54.9m in the previous year.

The company blamed price cuts for the fall. “This downturn reflects the major investments made on prices over the course of 2004, which pushed down margins and EBIT, notably on Sogara’s large hypermarkets,” the company said. “However, these stores are now positioned as the cheapest in their region and are starting to win back market share.”

“In light of the upturn in sales over the last few months, the Guyenne et Gascogne Group is going to pursue an aggressive and deliberate pricing policy in 2005,” it said.