French grocery retailer Carrefour has reported its sales are up by 3.1% to E72,668m for 2004 compared to E70,486m in 2003.

Pre-tax profit for the group grew by 0.8% to E2,810m and its net debt fell by E1.1bn.

Over the year the company sold or closed 57 supermarkets in Spain, Argentina and Brazil, and it sold its 22% stake in the Portuguese retailer Modelo Continente.

The retailer said its goals for 2005 are to strengthen its price image in its French hypermarkets, communicate better to the customer and build on its strong market positions in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The company has also confirmed that it will be divesting its Mexico and Japanese operations.