Carrefour, the world’s second-biggest retailer, appears to be ing round the poor performance of its French hypermarkets.

The group has come under pressure from hard discounters in its home market. Sales fell p.1% in the final quarter of 2004.

However, it reported this week that sales in its French hypermarket arm rose 1.6% to 14.87bn for the first three months of 2005. This helped push overall group sales up 5.2% to 119.59bn in the first quarter of this year.