PARIS: Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, aims to become "leaner and stronger" and boost sales in its core European markets.

In a statement, Lars Olofsson, Carrefour's ceo, said that the firm will expand its chain of Carrefour Planet stores - which feature fewer product lines and concentrate on discount and private label products.

Carrefour claimed the roll-out of the store concept is already "generating acceleration in sales and traffic uplift".

Plans to spin off DIA - a chain of "hard-discount" stores which account for roughly 10% of the firm's sales - by listing the unit on the Madrid stock exchange are on track. The company will also reorganise its property portfolio.

"Carrefour is taking a new step forward in the implementation of its strategy," Olofsson said. "Carrefour will ... be a leaner, stronger and more focused and more dynamic company."

He added: "The very encouraging results we are seeing from Carrefour Planet, our new hypermarket concept, and the continued execution of our Transformation Plan, underpin our confidence that we are on track achieve our goals."

But the statement also warned that surging commodity prices and the economic underperformance of Western European nations are affecting the business.

As part of its restructuring plan, launched in 2009, Carrefour is targeting compound annual sales growth of around 3% from 2010 to 2013.

To achieve this goal, the company plans to open new stores at a rate of 750 per year.

Data sourced from Carrefour/Bloomberg; additional content by Warc staff