FRANCE: Retailing giant Carrefour has posted a half-year loss of 249m and warned full-year profits would be 15% down on last year. Operating profits in its domestic market slumped 40% to 302m in the first six months of the year, with sales slipping 0.2%. In the rest of Europe, Carrefour's performance was even worse, with sales down 4.6% to 11.5bn, as it admitted it needed to be more competitive on price. The only crumb of comfort was outside Europe: sales were up 11.6% to 7.3bn in Latin America and 7.7% to 3.8bn in Asia. Group sales were up 2.3% to 39.6bn.
L'Oreal has missed analyst estimates for the first half of the year after ad spend ate into margins. Operating profits rose 2% to 1.7bn, the cosmetics giant said.
US: Del Monte Fresh Produce is to file a second lawsuit in connection with a large-scale cantaloupe melon recall in the US earlier this year. The company, one of the largest importers of cantaloupes into the US, said it would sue the public health division of Oregon Health Authority for the "misleading allegations" it made about Del Monte's imported cantaloupes following a salmonella outbreak in the state. "Del Monte Fresh is committed to the quality and safety of its products," the company said.
SWITZERLAND: Bernstein Research has downgraded Nestlé shares for the first time since it began covering the stock in 2002. Downgrading the stock from 'outperform' to 'market perform', Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood said Nestlé shares may have been bid too high by investors eager to hold a strong company in Swiss Francs. The strength of the local currency has also hit Nestlé by diluting its earnings per share.