By  on January 15, 2009

PARIS — France’s Carrefour on Thursday said slowing business in Europe reined in sales in the fourth quarter, underscoring the difficult environment facing European players as consumer spending shrinks in the face of the ongoing financial crisis.

The retailer, the world’s second largest after Wal-Mart Stores Inc., reported sales in the three months through Dec. 31 advanced 0.7 percent to 25.74 billion euros, or $33.72 billion. Like-for-like sales in the quarter lost 1.3 percent.

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