Car­refour profit beats es­ti­mates in first half, firm main­tains out­look

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By BLOOMBERG

Car­refour SA, France’s largest re­tailer, re­ported higher first-half earn­ings and main­tained its full-year out­look as Euro­pean rev­enue held up de­spite bad weather.

Re­cur­ring op­er­at­ing in­come rose 5.3 per­cent at con­stant ex­change rates to 706 mil­lion eu­ros ($781 mil­lion), the eighth straight in­crease, Boulogne-Bil­lan­courtCar­refour said on Thurs­day in a state­ment. An­a­lysts pre­dicted 683.5 mil­lion eu­ros, the av­er­age of six es­ti­mates com­piled by Bloomberg.

“The dy­namic of prof­itable growth has ex­tended into an eighth half,” Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Pierre-Jean Sivi­gnon said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call. “Our re­sults are solid in a par­tic­u­larly atyp­i­cal so­cial, po­lit­i­cal, economic or cli­matic en­vi­ron­ment in sev­eral coun­tries which we op­er­ate in.”

Net sales rose 2.9 per­cent to 36.3 bil­lion eu­ros, match­ing the av­er­age es­ti­mate. Pierre-Jean Sivi­gnon , Sales in Europe were sta­ble, hurt by “a slug­gish con­sump­tion en­vi­ron­ment”, while emerg­ing mar­ket rev­enue rose 10 per­cent.

While the com­pany is mon­i­tor­ing cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions closely, par­tic­u­larly in Brazil, the 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros full-year profit ex­pected by an­a­lysts re­mains a rea­son­able sce­nario, Sivi­gnon said. The com­pany also main­tained its out­look for higher free cash flow this year and in­vest­ments of be­tween 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros and 2.6 bil­lion eu­ros.

Com­pe­ti­tion in its home mar­ket, losses in China and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing economic con­di­tions in Europe and Brazil have hurt Car­refour. The stock had lost 23 per­cent in the past year be­fore Thurs­day.

First-half profit above ex­pec­ta­tions will im­prove con­fi­dence in­Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cerGe­orges Plas­sat’s plan to mod­ern­ize stores and add col­lec­tion points for on­line or­ders in France.

Sivi­gnon said there have been no new de­vel­op­ments in the com­pany’s plan to con­duct an ini­tial public of­fer­ing of Car­refour’s shop­ping mall prop­erty unit Carmila. The com­pany said in March it was wait­ing for the right mo­ment to con­duct an IPO of the unit.

In China, the re­tailer ex­pects to hit a low in the sec­ond half of the year af­ter rev­enue im­proved in the first half com­pared with 2015. “Our plans are starting to have an im­pact,” he said.

The dy­namic of prof­itable growth has ex­tended into an eighth half.” Car­refour SA CFO of

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A Car­refour su­per­mar­ket in Haikou, cap­i­tal of Hainan prov­ince.

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