PARIS — Carrefour SA said sales fell 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter as sales in France were impacted by mild weather and international operations suffered from a combination of currency effects and weak demand.
The world’s second-largest retailer behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said sales totaled 22.43 billion euros, or $24.57 billion, in the three months ended Dec. 31. Excluding petrol and calendar impacts, Carrefour’s organic growth in the quarter was 2.4 percent, down from an increase of 4.2 percent in the third quarter.
The company’s revenues rose 2.7 percent in 2015, and Carrefour said recurring operating income would be in line with expectations of 2.45 billion euros, or $2.67 billion at current exchange, for the full year.
During the fourth quarter, France posted a rise of 0.2 percent in like-for-like sales, with non-food sales at hypermarkets impacted by exceptionally warm weather, particularly in December.
Overseas markets were up 3.6 percent, with Latin America recording a sales jump of 11.9 percent, compensating for weakness in Asia, which posted a 12.9 percent drop.
Sales in other European countries were up 2.2 percent on a comparable basis, driven by continued momentum in Spain and Italy, which posted increases of 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.
Brazil recorded an 8.5 percent rise in like-for-like sales, with all formats posting growth, while Argentina posted like-for-like growth of 22.3 percent. The depreciation of the Brazilian real and the Argentine peso versus the euro had a negative impact of 22.2 percent, Carrefour said.
Like-for-like sales in China fell 16.7 percent during the period amid cautious consumers. Carrefour reiterated it was continuing to roll out its action plan in the country, which calls for more targeted openings and selective renovations, among other measures.
The retailer said it added 238 stores in the fourth quarter, bringing the total network to 12,296 stores as of Dec. 31.
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