Blog: Dean BestWhy more challenges lie ahead for Carrefour

Dean Best | 16 January 2009

A clutch of retail companies issued their latest numbers today (16 January) and, among them, came more gloomy news from Carrefour.

The French retail giant posted its slowest quarterly sales growth for five years, undershooting its revised full-year guidance.

Carrefour had already cut its sales and profit targets twice in the last financial year. New CEO Lars Olofsson, who joined Carrefour from Nestle at the start of the year, signalled his belief that the world's second-largest retailer would bounce back.

"Carrefour can and should further improve its performance,” Olofsson said. “I am fully confident that our resources and financial strength will allow us to rise to the challenges ahead."

Industry watchers will now wait to see how Olofsson looks to turn things around at Carrefour.

It's not all doom and gloom at the company; just this week, Carrefour expanded its Turkish business with the acquisition of a local supermarket chain.

But, just as smaller counterpart Delhaize has done in recent months, Olofsson is likely to take a long, hard look at Carrefour's business in all parts of the world.

And, just as Delhaize announced today, there could be a scaling back from Carrefour in some markets.

2009 promises to be just as challenging for Carrefour as last year.


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