By  on April 13, 2006

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.

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