Sales growth at the world number-two retailer Carrefour accelerated in the third quarter, reflecting robust sales in Brazil and an improving performance in its biggest market, France, despite a difficult environment there. Hayley Platt reports.
Some big retailers have been downsizing in recent years to cope with a challenging economic environment - not Carrefour. The world's second biggest retailer initiated a global revival in 2012. It focused on prices and cost cuts and expanded its convenience stores, while also renovating its hypermarkets. It seems to be working - sales accelerated in the third quarter to almost 21.8 billion euros. In Brazil they were up 12 percent and the decline in China slowed to 7.8 from more than 9. There was even of a 1.2 percent rise in France, its struggling home market. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "I think the latest figures from Q3 have shown that they are making progress there, they're improving their online operation, they're modernising their stores. But certainly I think a more global outlook is also very positive. They've just opened a new store in Poland, new markets there." Carrefour makes almost three quarters of its sales in Europe. And it seems to be taking some from its smaller rival Casino - it reported a slowdown in the quarter. Both have been facing weak consumer demand, low food inflation and intense price competition - not to mention poor weather.