Carrefour capex to rise, 2012 profit down
PARIS: Carrefour, Europe's biggest retailer, said it would boost capital spending to revive its struggling hypermarkets after 2012 profits fell 2.6 per cent, depressed by falling demand in recession-hit Spain and Italy.
The French retailer, which is battling to reverse years of underperformance in Europe, said it would invest between ?2.2 billion and ?2.3 billion against ?1.547 billion last year, above analysts' expectations of ?1.955 billion for 2013.
Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer behind Wal-Mart, reported 2012 operating profit fell to ?2.140 billion, still topping analysts' expectations for ?2.061 billion in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll.
Finance Chief Piere-Jean Sivignon said Carrefour is still braced for a "difficult" economic climate in 2013.
Retail veteran Georges Plassat became CEO in May 2012 with a brief to come to grips with years of underperformance in Europe, where Carrefour's hypermarkets have been hit by competition from specialist stores and trends toward local and online shopping.
Plassat has vowed to cut costs, improve price competitiveness and simplify product offerings. Reuters