Carrefour First-Half Net Profit Rises on Strong Sales in Latin America

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Marion Halftermeyer

PARIS--French largest retailer Carrefour SA (CA.FR) said Thursday its net profit in the first half of the year rose 17% on the year, buoyed by its growth in Brazil and Argentina and stabilizing sales in Europe.

Net profit for the perios was 274 million euros ($367 million), up from EUR235 million last year.

Carrefour, which jockeys with Tesco PLC ( TESO ) for the title of world's second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ( WMT ), said sales totaled EUR35.9 billion for the first half, up 3.4% from a year earlier, the highest organic growth rate is has registered in five years.

The retailer said sales revenue in Europe inched in the first half of the year, which signals an emergence from what has been consistent low-growth in the continent. Europe net sales increased 1.1% to EUR 26.2 billion from the same period a year ago.

The company reported strong sales in Latin America, mainly in Argentina and Brazil, where its cash-and-carry Atacadao stores are expanding fast. Brazil now represents the second-largest market for Carrefour.

Positive trends in Europe and Latin America were partly offset by weak consumption in China, the company said.

After a change in chief executive two years ago and a focus on cutting prices, the company plans to lure customers with revamped store layouts in its home market France but also in Brazil, Spain and Italy.

Write to Marion Halftermeyer at marion.Halftermeyer@dowjones.com

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Corrections & Amplifications

This article was corrected at 10:18 GMT to fix the sales growth for the first half of the year. Sales growth was 3.4% from a year earlier, and not 4.3% as originally reported.

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