Carrefour has confirmed it is to pull out of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, prompting speculation the world's second-largest retailer will become less international under CEO Lars Olofsson. The former Nestlé senior manager is charged with turning around the underperforming retailer, which still has stores in China, Taiwan and Indonesia. Shares rallied following the news.


Food producers Princes and ADM are to replicate their Edible Oils partnership which is responsible for a host of brands including Mazola, Flora and Olivio oils in the UK and Ireland in Poland. The joint venture company will follow the same model to supply "major European retail and wholesale customers". The companies have signed an agreement to expand distribution of bottled edible oil. "Our operations will offer quality products, plus brand and category management expertise," said Princes MD Ken Critchley.

Metro Group is planning to open four Makro Punct cash & carry outlets in Poland by the end of the year. The German retailer says it sees the potential for about 20 stores in the next couple of years. Makro Punct stores are about 15,000 sq ft and focused on supporting independents.


Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize has admitted it is keen to increase its activities in the Balkans, but declined to comment on press reports about specific negotiations with Serbia's Delta Holding.

Delhaize is understood to have started negotiations to buy a stake of up to 50% in Delta Maxi, the retail arm of Delta Holding. "We are interested in the Balkan markets," said a Delhaize spokeswoman.


Health groups used the 11th International Congress on Obesity in Stockholm this week to call for international controls to protect children from the marketing of unhealthy food. "Food and soft drink companies have made some concessions in order to avoid tougher rules, but tough rules are what are needed," said Dr Tim Lobstein, research director of the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO).