French retail giant Auchan has booked an 18% fall in half-year profits on the back of costs linked to its hypermarket business in Ukraine.

The company said yesterday (31 August) that net income fell 17.8% to EUR143m (US$204.5m) as impairment charges on its Furshet chain in Ukraine hit the bottom line.

Turnover inched up 0.4% to EUR18.77bn although like-for-like sales excluding fuel dipped 0.9%.

Auchan chairman Christophe Dubrulle focused on a marginal increase in EBITDA – which rose 0.3% to EUR929m – and improving performances from its businesses in Poland, Spain and Italy. However, he admitted that the company needed to revive earnings.

“The global crisis affected our performances to varying degrees depending on our four main businesses and 12 countries of operation. On the whole, however, the impact is in line with our forecasts of the past few months,” Dubrulle said. 

“Although we managed to keep revenue and EBITDA stable, and gain market share in our hypermarkets business in countries such as Poland, Spain and Italy, we cannot content ourselves for long with flat performances and a fall in income.”