French distribution chain Carrefour had a rise in sales of 1.3% to 20.83 billion euro in the first quarter of 2013. Especially the Brazilian activities rise significantly, but in Europe only Belgium is a bright spot.
Europe (minus Belgium) struggling
In France, still worth more than 45% of company sales, sales dropped another 0.7%. There is one bright spot for the plagued distributor: a status quo in comparable sales (-0.1%).
The French supermarkets hold firm (status quo), but the hypermarkets again lose 2.1% on a comparable basis. The convenience stores and other formats of the company are faring well in home country France: +4.9% in sales (even though their sales – a bit under one billion euro – remains peanuts compared to the five billion of the hypermarkets and the 3.17 billion of supermarkets).
In the rest of Europe the company of CEO George Plassat loses 2.6%: the biggest drops are in Spain (-5.1%) and Italy (-5.7%). Belgium as the largest growth (+3.6%), but that country is too small to have any significance for the entirety of the European results.
The fact that Carrefour still grows in the past quarters, is almost completely due to Latin America (+14%). In Brazil sales grew organically with 13.3% and in Argentina with 16.5%, but the devaluation of the Brazilian real and the Argentinian peso causes some trouble for the company.
In China sales rose by 2.4% thanks to the opening of new stores, but on a comparable basis there was a drop of 2.3%.
More than 10,000 shops
The company from Boulogne-Billancourt has reported 144 new openings in the past quarter, mainly in Latin-America and Europe excluding France. At the same time Carrefour closed 102 shops, most of them in Europe excluding France.
With 42 shops extra the company has reached 10,000 locations (of which 4,732 in France and 4,038 in the rest of Europe). All shops together amount to a shopping surface of just under 16 million sqm.