Levallois-Perret, France: Carrefour has unveiled plans to slash prices on 300 brands by up to 20% as it published its half-year results. Described by chief executive José Luis Durán as the “best half-year results since 2005”, sales for the second quarter rose 8% to €41.948bn (£34.108bn), with profits up 1.2% to €750m (£610m). Carrefour operations in South America put in an especially strong performance, with sales up 41.8%, partly due to the integration of Atacadão. “This strong performance attests to the relevance of our multi-format single brand strategy on an international scale,” said Durán.
Austin, Texas: Whole Foods Market has played down the impact of a worsening economy, claiming 70% of shoppers are continuing to buy the same volumes of organic food and drink they always have done. The retailer said a survey it had commissioned showed results were similar across geographic locations, despite the varying regional impact of the housing slump and economic downturn. The survey also found adults were now preparing more meals at home (43%), using more coupons (40%) and going out of their way to look for lower-cost items (37%) as a result of higher food costs.

Croix, France: Auchan Group has released results for the first half of the year showing sales up 9.4% to €18.7bn (£15.2bn) and EBITDA up 3.8% to €822m. Auchan’s international operations have increased in importance (49.8% of sales compared with 48% at the year ending 2007) as the retailer seeks to exploit markets with stronger growth potential. In France, sales were up 6.2% to €9.4bn (£7.6bn) over the first half, but EBITDA declined by 6.6%, a measure, said Auchan, of the poor economic outlook. “Despite a negative trend in the purchasing power of our mature market customers, Auchan Group’s consolidated achievements are close to our objectives, due in particular to the contribution of the emerging countries,” said Christophe Dubrulle, chairman of Auchan Group. This confirms our discount policy is the right choice.”