Closure cost

Japanese supermarket operator Ito-Yokado said store closure costs had hit full-year profit, but sales at its 7-Eleven c-store operation had pushed up turnover. Ito-Yokado also incurred losses from its new financial services operations - IY Bank and IY Credit Service.
Ito-Yokado renovated 46 stores during the year. It opened two, while shutting six, bringing the number in Japan to 177. Group net profit for the year to February 28 fell 60% to Y21bn on group turnover up 5.1% to Y3.3trn. 

Payment row 

Unilever has attacked Ahold's decision to extend the period before its supermarket chain in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, pays its suppliers. 

Albert Heijn has informed Unilever it will now be paid after 30 days. 

It unilaterally decided to extend its terms of payment. "We don't agree to one party cancelling negotiated conditions," said Unilever spokesman Richard van der Eijk. 

Brewery shut 

Australian leisure group Foster's said subsidiary Carlton United Breweries will close its Kent brewery in Sydney as part of a cost cutting programme to save A$100m a year. CUB's various sales forces will be integrated into one to cover beer, spirits and cider. 

Latin blow

Carrefour posted a 0.4% drop in first quarter group sales. Sales for the three months to March 31 were down to 118.3bn as negative currency rates wiped 6% off its turnover. 

In its home market sales grew 2.6% and elsewhere in Europe rose 7.5% on constant exchange rates and 3.1% on a like-for-like basis ­ driven by hypermarkets in Spain and Italy. 

Sales in Latin America dropped a massive 34.5%. Asian sales were down 0.4% 

Stake sold 

Interbrew has sold its 28.9% stake in Namibian Breweries to Diageo and Heineken for E31m. But the Belgian brewer said it had also extended its licence agreement with Namibian Breweries for the production, marketing and distribution of Beck's in the Namibian and South-African market for another 10 years.