Carrefour struggles in Belgium and France


French retailer Carrefour has had a difficult third quarter in France and Belgium, but the retailer sees some things are on the uptake: e-commerce is growing strongly, Spain and Latin America are doing well and the 2022 transformation plan is on track.


Markets under pressure

At group level, Carrefour's third quarter figures look pretty good: sales amounted to 20.2 billion euros, up 2.3 % - excluding fuel prices and calendar effects. However, compared with the 3.9 % in the second quarter the growth rate is slowing down: according to the retailer, this is mainly due to a weaker performance on the French home market. The hypermarkets suffered a decrease in turnover because there were fewer promotions. As a result, sales fell by 3.2 % (-0.9 % like-for-like).


In Belgium, too, efforts are not paying off for the time being: turnover fell by 2.9 % to 1.015 billion euros (-2.8 % like-for-like). In the first nine months of the year, turnover fell by 1.6 % to 3.03 billion euros. The market is under pressure, says Carrefour, but the transformation initiatives are speeding up, with good results.


Ambitions confirmed

On the bright side, Europe's largest retailer saw sales rise in Poland (+6.2 % like-for-like), in Romania (+2.8 %), and in Spain (+1.5 %, the first growth since the second quarter of 2017). Italy, on the other hand, continues to show signs of weakness (-2.3 %). In Latin America, momentum is strong, with similar growth of 12.8 %. In addition, e-commerce is performing well: online food sales grew by more than 30 %.


The retailer therefore confirms the ambitions of its strategic plan for 2022, including the target of reducing costs by 2.6 billion euros a year by 2020 and achieving a turnover of 4.2 billion euros in food online and 4.8  billion euros in organic products by 2022.