Carrefour has reported a 1.6% dip in global sales compared with last year as it unveiled its First Half results.

Sales in Europe fell by 5.4%, although Latin America and Asia showed increases of 8.1% and 14.8% respectively during the first half of this year, compared with the first half of last year.

The French retail giant saw global sales slide from €41.9bn to €41.3bn. Commercial margin as a percentage of sales fell by 30 basis points because of the group’s investment in price, promotions and loyalty, it said.

Net debt at the end of June this year was also up by 2.8% compared with June 2008, having risen from €11.0bn to €11.3bn.
Carrefour had posted “resilient” first-half sales and market share gains in a challenging environment, said CEO and Board member of Carrefour, Lars Olofsson.

“We recorded encouraging progress in the first half, with improved price image in France, the successful launch of Carrefour Discount, promising tests of our new convenience and hard discount concepts, first signs of change in Italy and Belgium and cost reductions.” Carrefour was on track to deliver its 2009 objectives, he added.
The retailer has 7 initiatives underway to help it to increase market share and achieve gains of €4.5bn by 2012.