Carrefour sales hit high in France but struggle in Asia

The French retailer continued the roll-out of its action plan in China

French supermarket retailer Carrefour, which sells a wide selection of cosmetics and personal care products, has announced its Q2 and H1 results for 2015 with mixed results.

The chain saw second quarter sales reach just under €21.4bn, up 4.2% in total, or 2.6% on an organic basis. In its domestic market, Carrefour experienced growth of 5.5% excluding petrol sales, which totalled €10,168m. During this period Carrefour also saw the launch of DIA store conversions in the country.

However, internationally, sales were seen to fluctuate from region to region. Overall, internationally, total growth was up 5.6% excluding petrol to reach €11,202m. Overseas highlights included accelerated growth in Spain and an “excellent performance” in Latin America, according to the company, where organic sales were up 14.6%. Argentina was the star country in this region, with sales up an impressive 25.9%.

Despite great success in its home market of France, Carrefour did not meet with such favour in its neighbouring countries. Like-for-like sales in Italy were down 5%, "on a challenging comparable basis, marked by a big promotional campaign linked to the football world cup in the second quarter of 2014", the company noted. Meanwhile, like-for-like sales were down in Poland and remained flat in Belgium. But it was not all bad news, there was growth to be seen in Romania, which Carrefour noted was quite an achievement considering the three percentage point impact from the strong drop in VAT on food products beginning 1 June.

In Asia, however, activity was not quite so stable. Organic sales in Asia were down 8.6%, although total sales were up 13%, buffered by a positive currency effect. In China, sales were down 11.4% on an organic basis, due to a “slowing consumption environment”, the company explained. However, in Taiwan, sales grew for the second consecutive quarter, up 1.4% on an organic basis and 2.1% like-for-like.

Looking at the bigger picture, first half sales remained buoyant for Carrefour, up 5% in total and 2.9% on an organic basis to reach €42.3bn. France saw total growth of 6.3% in H2 and organic growth of 1.8%, while internationally, Carrefour saw growth of 7.3% in total and 3.7% on an organic basis.

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