Retailer Carrefour still struggling in Europe

French big box retailer Carrefour sees sales fall, hit by European economy, currency effects

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) -- French big box retailer Carrefour saw its sales slip in the first quarter due to the poor economy in Europe and currency depreciation in Latin America.

The retailer said Thursday that revenue was 20.8 billion euros ($27.3 billion) in the January-to-March period. That's a 1.3 percent drop when sales from discontinued operations are excluded.

By pulling out of Singapore, Greece, Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia, Carrefour tripled its profits last year. But sales are flagging.

The company's most worrying performance is in Europe. Sales in France fell 1 percent and 3.5 percent in the rest of the continent.

Strong growth in Latin America was hidden by currency depreciations in Brazil and Argentina. At constant exchange rates, sales would have grown 14 percent. They were down 0.2 percent in the reported figure.

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