French hypermarket chain Carrefour has had an almost steady turnover last quarter, in which it compensated decreasing sales figures in Europe – especially in Southern Europe and the French home market – with a steady growth in Latin America and Asia. All in all, the second biggest supermarket group of the world lived up to analysts' expectations.
Europe is pulling Carrefour down
Where analysts had counted on a total turnover of 21.65 billion euro, Carrefour realized a 21.72 billion euro turnover from April till June, a decrease of 0.3% compared to the same period last year. Shops that have been open for over a year experienced a decrease in sales of 1.3%.
Both analysts and Carrefour itself had feared the European crisis would have an even worse effect on the distribution giant, even after its recent exit from Greece. Still, Carrefour has seen its comparable turnover decrease by 4.3% in Italy and 7.3% in Spain, far worse than last quarter. Even in its French home based market, Carrefour keeps struggling - hence its like-for-like decrease by 3.3% (and even 5.77% in the hypermarkets).
Emerging markets and Belgium save the day
Contrary to the rest of Europe, Belgium is the silver lining for Carrefour: the distributor succeeded in achieving a like-for-like turnover growth of 0.8% after a few very bad years and a severe reorganisation.
Emerging markets also saved the day for the retail chain, especially in Latin America (+2,7%) and Asia (+14%). China is the main exception in the positive Asian picture: the Asian like-or-like turnover decreased by 2.3% because of problems in the country.
The success in Latin America means that Brazil is now Carrefour's second biggest market, only behind France. CEO Georges Plassat remains silent about his visions for the the future: probably only at the presentation of the semester results mid-August, will the new CEO – in all probability – finally reveal his plans for the distribution group.
Translated by Sanne Raspoet