PARIS — French retail giant Carrefour said overhaul efforts are showing signs of paying off and flagged a small acceleration in sales over the second quarter, led by growth in Latin America.
Sales in the second half grew 3.9 percent on an organic basis to reach 19.97 billion euros, with brisk business in Brazil and Argentina helping to offset a decline in French hypermarket sales. The company is two years into a wide-ranging, five-year overhaul for survival that includes rethinking its struggling big-box stores as well as bulking up delivery services and organic produce. Fierce competition among local grocers in its home market of France has been further complicated by the arrival of Internet giants like Amazon.
“Carrefour is showing a clear improvement in performance. Half-year results are growing,” said Alexandre Bompard chairman and chief executive officer of the retailer, in a statement.
Adjusted net income, group share for the first half rose 32.6 percent to 179 million euros, a figure that was adjusted to strip out the contribution of assets that are being sold, including activities in China as well as property holdings. Sales for the first half rose 3.7 percent on an organic basis.
Carrefour last month revealed plans to retreat from China, selling the bulk of its operations in the country to e-commerce provider Suning.com, 25 years after entering the market.
The retailer is also selling logistics property held under Cargo Property Assets as part of plans to shed half-a-billion-euros worth of property by next year, an objective it has nearly reached already.
At the same time, Carrefour is adding services, improving the offer of its organic produce and investing heavily in lowering prices, particularly in France.
The company has launched new loyalty reward programs in France, run “unbeatable” price campaigns on fresh produce in Spain and invested in lowering organic produce in Belgium, as well as worked on lowering prices at its Brazilian chain Atacadão.
Sales in Latin America grew 19.5 percent on an organic basis to reach 4.06 billion euros. Excluding France, sales in Europe declined 0.4 percent on an organic basis to 5.72 billion euros, with growth in Romania and Poland weighed down by declines in Italy, Belgium and Spain over the second quarter.