Group sales at French retailer Carrefour fell 1.6% in 2002 as negative currency rates wiped 37% off sales at its operations in the Americas

Including the impact of currencies, sales for 2002 were 76.8bn euros down from 78bn euros in the previous year. While at constant exchange rates, Carrefour said sales rose 4.5%.

Sales in France rose 1.8% and were up 6.9% in the rest of Europe. Asian sales increased 1.8%.

France accounted for 51% of total group sales up from 49% in 2001, the rest of Europe rose to 34.2% from 31.5%. Sales in the Americas dropped to 8.3% from 12.9% with Asian sales up to 6.5% from 6.3%.

Carrefour’s hypermarket format increased sales by 0.4% to 59.6%, supermarkets declined from 19.8% to 18.4%. Hard discount stores rose to 6.8%, while other store formats climbed from 14.6% to 15.2%.

Carrefour will report full 2002 results in March and maintained its forecast of earnings per share growth of 10% to 15%.