Carrefour reported total sales rose 5.5%, at constant exchange rates, to €19.7 bn, with like-for-likes rising 8.4% in its third quarter. The retailer said its growth was its ‘best performance in at least 20 years’.
The positive results were broad based, with most markets and channels seeing growth, and came despite ‘an unfavourable petrol effect’ and ‘an unfavorable exchange rate effect’ due to the depreciation of the Brazilian Real and the Argentine Peso.
France: results show strong recovery after weaker Q2
Carrefour said, in its home market, it had seen a ‘quick and positive customer reaction to initiatives to improve customer satisfaction’. Like-for-like sales rose 3.8% with all B2C formats benefiting, while noting its Promocash banner suffered due to ‘the decrease in B2B sales’.
The relaxation of operating conditions benefited Carrefour’s non-food sales, which rose by 9.9% in like-for-like terms, versus an increase of 2.9% for food ranges. By format the retailer said:
- Hypermarkets: like-for-like sales increased 2.5%;
- Supermarkets: like-for-like sales rose 4.9%, with its performance ‘benefiting from the positioning initiated in 2018’;
- Convenience: like-for-like sales were up 5.3%, with the dynamic growth offset by ‘lower summer tourism’. At a total sales level Carrefour noted the boost given by the addition of 56 new stores opened during the quarter
Europe: growth in Spain and Belgium, challenges in Poland and Italy
Carrefour reported a growth in like-for-like sales of 1.9% across its European operations in the third quarter. The picture, though, was mixed, with strength in Belgium and Spain offset by contractions in Italy and Poland and flat sales in Romania. By country, it said:
- Belgium: like-for-like sales rose 5.4%, which it said helped it continue to gain market share. Its focus on price investment supported the growth, while the launch of its Healthy Prices campaign gave renewed impetus to changing shopper perception in the country;
- Italy: like-for-like sales contracted by 8.0%, hampered by its hypermarket presence and ‘its exposure to tourist areas in the North;
- Poland: like-for-like sales fell by 1.4%, with its large hypermarkets suffering from the drop in traffic at the shopping centres they are in. Carrefour noted its supermarket and proximity formats returned to growth;
- Romania: flat like-for-like sales were driven by travel restrictions;
- Spain: the standout market in Europe, with like-for-like sales rising 6.3%, which ‘confirmed its excellent momentum in a buoyant market’. It noted the success of its country strategy, which focuses on fresh and private label products and its price positioning
Brazil stands out, once more, in operations outside Europe
Carrefour reported an acceleration in sales growth in Latin America, with Brazil once more driving its outlook. In the country it said it had enjoyed ‘a virtuous circle with dynamic traffic, market share gains and an increase in share of wallet among its customers’. Like-for-like sales rose 26.0% in Brazil, with total sales rising by 27.3%, aided by growth across all its formats.
In Brazil Carrefour Retail saw like-for-like sales rise 26.6% with its ‘hypermarkets growing twice as fast as the market’. Food like-for-like sales increased 15.4%, while non-food like-for-like sales rose by 43.6% due to ‘repositioning of the offer’. Its Atacadão format saw like-for-like sales rise by 25.8%, which benefited from a resumption of B2B sales.
It said it enjoyed ‘good commercial momentum’ in Argentina, with like-for-like sales increasing by 41.4%. The pace of growth helped it gain market share, which was supported by its proximity to shoppers. Finally, Carrefour reported total sales rose 1.4% at constant exchange rates in Taiwan, or by 0.6% in like-for-like terms.