French hypermarket chain Carrefour has seen revenues grow by 3.2% on an organic basis (ex petrol) in the first three months of 2015.
Total sales (ex petrol) were up 6.2% to €21bn as the chain benefited from a 2.1% tailwind from currency movements.
In France, Carrefour recorded total (ex petrol) growth of 7.9%, with organic growth at 2.6% in the quarter to 31 March.
Organic sales at hypermarkets were up by 2.2% and like-for-like sales increased by 2.1%. Organic sales at supermarkets rose by 2% (LFL sales up 2.5%), while convenience and other formats saw strong organic growth of +6.2%.
The group’s international sales were up by 3.6% (+2.2% LFL), boosted by a 4% effect from currencies.
In European countries outside France organic sales were up 0.9%, with Spain up 0.3% and improved trading in Italy and Belgium.
Organic sales in Latin America grew by 16.6%, driven by 13.1% organic growth in Brazil. Total sales in Asia were up by 6.6%, but organic sales were down by 10.5%.
Shore Capital hailed Carrefour’s “good progress in France”, and noted it is “performing very well in LATAM and robustly across Europe too bar Italy”. However, its organic fall in Asain sales pointed towards it continuing difficulties in China.
The broker sees Carrefour’s progress as a potential blueprint for Tesco’s recovery, writing: “The broader narrative of Carrefour’s progress in recent years does not go unnoticed to our minds when considering Tesco’s latest chapter of development under the tutelage of Dave Lewis.
“Carrefour had to focus down and de-leverage, disposing of positions in many markets (e.g. Chile and South-East Asia) on the way. Cash conservation has been the order of the day alongside a prolonged focus upon the improvement of its trading performance in France, which is now coming through with ex-fuel LFL sales growth of 2.5%”.