French supermarket giant Carrefour, ranked world number two, anounced its net profit fell 44.7 percent to 1.27 billion euros (1.60 billion dollars).
AFP - French supermarket giant Carrefour, ranked world number two, said Thursday its 2008 net profit slumped nearly 45 percent as second half demand fell away in face of the global economic downturn.
Net profit fell 44.7 percent to 1.27 billion euros (1.60 billion dollars) while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were down 16.8 percent at 2.77 billion euros, much worse than analyst forecasts for a 3.2 percent drop.
Last year was "marked by food price inflation and a clear slowdown in the second half," Carrefour said.
The company said the first two months of this year had seen a pick up in sales but overall, conditions had not improved and 2009 promised to be difficult.
"We expect a difficult environment in 2009," finance director Eric Reiss said.
"Consumption trends have not improved compared with 2008," he said, adding, however, that in France, which accounts for 40 percent of its sales, all its outlets were holding up relatively well.
Carrefour said in an earnings statement that it planned to keep capital spending this year at not more than 2.5 billion euros, focused on sales promotion while keeping costs under control.
Newly appointed head Lars Olofsson said the group aimed to boost organic growth to above market rates and to improve its profit margins.
Carrefour left its 2008 dividend unchanged at 1.08 euros per share.
Date created : 2009-03-12