Guyenne et Gascogne has booked a 4.5% increase in first-quarter sales, which were boosted by higher fuel prices.

The retailer, which operates Carrefour hypermarkets and supermarkets in the south-west of France and Spain under franchise, said that its sales trends had improved “significantly” after a “difficult” January and emphasised that the impact of a late Easter had been minimal.

However, excluding fuel, sales dipped 0.6% during the period, the company said in a trading update yesterday (18 April). Stripping out fuel, first-quarter sales dropping to EUR100.2m (US$143m) as consumers continued to reduce non-food spending, the group revealed.