WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/financial/carrefour-sales-rise-in-1st-qtr-538882/

PARIS — Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart, on Wednesday reported first-quarter sales rose 6 percent, despite weak trends in Europe outside its home market of France. Carrefour said sales in the three months through March 31 hit 20.42 billion euros ($24.7 billion, at current exchange) from 19.58 billion euros ($23.7 billion) last year, led by healthy gains in France. Like-for-like sales in Carrefour’s French hypermarkets edged up 2.7 percent, while supermarket sales gained 3.2 percent. Overall sales in France rose 5 percent to 9.69 billion euros ($11.7 billion).

The rest of Europe didn’t fare as well, as like-for-like sales in the region were flat, hurt by deflation and weak consumer confidence.

Sales in Latin America rose 8.9 percent to 1.66 billion euros ($2 billion), while sales in Asia gained 10.1 percent to 1.44 billion euros ($1.74 billion). Carrefour said it was on track to achieve higher sales growth this year, thanks to an aggressive expansion strategy.

This story first appeared in the April 13, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.