French retailer Auchan has booked a drop in first-half profits and warned the outlook for the rest of the year “remains worrying”.

In the six months to the end of June, net profit fell 30.3% to EUR237m (US$296.1m), the retailer reported today (30 August).

However, stripping out non-recurring items, including asset impairments in Italy and on GrosBill in France totalling EUR26m, net profit would have grown by 12%.

Operating profit fell by 16.8% to EUR508m, although operating profit from continuing operations increased 4.7% to EUR470m.

Sales climbed 5.5% to EUR22.38bn. Excluding fuel and foreign exchange, sales increased 5%. Expansion contributed 2.9 percentage points of the growth, like-for-like sales 2.1 percentage points. Auchan notably saw sales increase in France.

However, Auchan chairman Vianney Mulliz had a note of caution on trading conditions in France and Europe.

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“The backdrop, especially in France, is highly uncertain, with the combination of an announced increase in charges on companies and a sharp slowdown in consumer spending. The outlook for the second half of the year therefore remains worrying in the eurozone,” Mulliez said.