The globe’s number two supermarket and hypermarket operator, Paris-headquartered Carrefour, bettered market expectations with its first-half earnings.

These rose by nearly 15% to €400 million ($392.97m; £255.73m) after deductions for goodwill but excluding exceptionals. The result comfortably exceeds guesstimates by investment oracles of between €370m-€395m.

The retail giant also reiterated its earnings forecast for 2002 as a whole, predicting a sales increase of around 5% at constant exchange rates. The projected growth relates mainly to a programme of store openings and the diminished drain from its Spanish hypermarkets which it sold last year. Like for like sales increase are also forecast.

The H1 results mirror the “satisfactory performance” of Carrefour’s French hypermarkets and supermarkets, a recovery in Spain and robust growth in Belgium and Italy. It also recorded growth in Asia, defying a slowdown in consumption in Taiwan; while in Latin America it achieved acceptable results despite the adverse impact on sales of a sharp decrease in exchange rates.

Carrefour reiterated its three strategic priorities: market share gains, cost reductions and improvement of cash flow. These, it reported, “added to the decrease of financial expenses and goodwill amortisation charges …[and] enabled a significant improvement in the group’s first half net result.”

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff