Carrefour sees record performance in 2020

With a comparable turnover growth of 7.8% last year, Carrefour says it realised its best performance since at least twenty years. In Europe, Belgium and Spain are among the best performers. Higher costs, however, put pressure on net profits.


Strong performance

Carrefour ended the year with a turnover of 70.7 billion euros and made progress in just about all markets and store formats. On the French home market, even the suffering hypermarkets managed to record an - albeit modest - growth, although the good news there came mainly from the supermarkets and convenience stores.

The outlier in Europe was Belgium, which recorded growth of 8.3% and again gained market share, thanks in part to an improved price positioning. Sales amounted to 4.51 billion euro. Spain (+7.1%) also performed strongly. Italy and Poland saw sales decline. Latin America performed exceptionally well with a comparable growth of 23%, partly due to the specific corona measures in Brazil and Argentina.

Carrefour saw e-commerce sales rise sharply, by more than 70% to 2.3 billion euro. The retailer is on track to reach 4.2 billion online sales by 2022. Sales of organic products grew by 18%, private labels increased their market share to 29% of sales. The target is 33% in 2022.


Falling net profits

But there was also a downside. The group's net profit fell 43% to 641 million euro, due to higher costs caused by the corona crisis. The retailer announced new cost cuts amounting to 2.4 billion euros by 2023.

Even though Carrefour speaks of very good results, the growth figures still lag behind those of sector competitor Ahold Delhaize, which also published record figures yesterday: the retailer was able to benefit from the corona crisis with a growth of 18% and saw its net profit decrease only slightly. For the time being, the merged group seems to be the big winner of the lockdown.