Carrefour

PARIS — Carrefour said Thursday it will increase cost-saving targets and sell more non-strategic real estate over the next two years as annual profit improved, midway into a five-year restructuring program.

The plan is putting the group on a “profitable growth trajectory,” Alexandre Bompard, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The executive has undertaken a sweeping overhaul of the French retailer, cutting costs, forging partnerships to beef up Internet commerce services, and emphasizing organic produce.

Profit for the year came to 1.31 billion euros, bouncing back into positive territory, as recurring operating income grew 7.4 percent at constant rates, to 1.97 billion euros, lifted growth from its operations in Brazil and improvement in France.

Carrefour said it will sell an additional 300 million euros worth of non-strategic real estate assets by 2022, and increase its cost reduction plan to 2.8 billion euros per year, up from a previous goal of 2.6 billion euros. The group has already sold 500 million euros worth of real estate, a year ahead of its initial plans.

Earlier this month, Carrefour announced it would bulk up its Brazilian operations in Rio de Janeiro and the country’s northeast region with the acquisition of 30 cash and carry stores that it will fold into its Atacadão network. Meanwhile, it has also been shedding other activities, including the bulk of its Carrefour China operations, sold last year to a local operator, Suning.com.

In France, where the group has struggled under the weight of its sprawling big-box stores, or hypermarkets, lackluster consumption and price wars have complicated the company’s restructuring efforts. The group has been reducing hypermarket space, particularly non-food areas, and said the format performed well in a number of key markets.

Bompard also flagged improved price competitiveness, and said the group is outperforming the market in food e-commerce.

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