French retailer Carrefour has seen its turnover drop in the fourth quarter of 2018: not only in its home market France (- 0.1 %), but also in Belgium (- 3.1 %), Italy (- 4.6 %) and Spain (- 1.4 %). Still, the transformation plan is starting to bear fruit, the company says.
The turnover drop on its home market was smaller than expected as the country's economy suffered from the continuing yellow vest protests. Hypermarkets' turnover decreased (- 2.2 %), but that was almost completely compensated by the growth in supermarkets (+ 1.9 %). The full year turnover went up 1.1 % in France, while strong performances in Latin America, Poland and Romania pushed the group turnover up 2.5 %.
In Belgium, Carrefour points to the "very competitive market, which showed a stark decrease compared to the third quarter" in a press release. However, the company is certain it has "implemented new initiatives to relaunch the commercial momentum." The full year turnover dropped 1.7 % to 4.3 billion euro, suggesting that competitors like Colruyt and Delhaize have profited from Carrefour's difficult restructuring, in which five hypermarkets were scaled down to supermarkets.
CEO Alexandre Bompard said in a press statement he was satisfied with the results and especially with the progress made through the Transformation Plan Carrefour 2022. Strong growth was found in organic produce and online food sales (up 30 %), while new purchase alliances with Tesco and Système U started and should show results straight away. The transformation plan was necessary after devastating results for the full year 2017, in which Carrefour suffered a 1.3 billion euro loss.