Carrefour has signalled a major shift in strategy after boss Lars Olofsson said the French retail giant had lost its “leadership” status in the domestic market.

Olofsson said the expansive group’s priorities would now be “France, France and France” and outlined plans for price cuts worth €600m in a bid to take market share from the country’s hard discounters.

“You cannot have lasting success without a strong base,” Olofsson said in the wake of a marginal 0.3% rise in operating profit to €3bn.

The former Nestlé executive also pledged to re-energise the group’s network of hypermarkets and indicated that the proposed price cuts would be funded by finding cost savings of up to €500m.

“The assessment of the problems is simple in that everybody tells me the same thing and it corresponds with what I saw,” he told the Financial Times. “The hypermarket is no longer king in the country in which it was created. We have got to put back the excitement – the ‘hyper’ into hypermarkets.”