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EARNINGS

Carrefour posts half-year loss, profit warning

Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer, reported on Wednesday a half-year loss of €249 million ($359 million) and said it now expected annual operating profit to drop by 15 percent.

Analysts interviewed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a half-year profit of €31 million.  

While the retailer’s sales rose by 2.3 percent to €39.6 billion, the results were slammed by €884 million in non-recurring charges, including 516 million in impairments charges mostly linked to Italian operations.  

“In the first half of 2011, Carrefour managed to grow its sales, driven by emerging markets, but overall results were unsatisfactory, weighed down by a poor performance in France and non-recurring items,” chief executive Lars Olofsson said in a statement.  

He said the company would pursue its transformation plans and would favour long-term value creation over short-term gains, and thus expected annual current operating profit to drop 15 percent. 

The company’s share price dropped by more than four percent in early trading to €17.85.

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BUSINESS

Air France reports €1.2 billion loss for 2012

Air France-KLM reported on Friday a net loss of 1.2 billion euros, worse than a loss of 809 million euros in 2011, but said that underlying prospects were improving despite heavy fuel and restructuring costs.

Air France reports €1.2 billion loss for 2012
File photo of an Air France airplane. Photo: Kentaro Iemoto

Air France-KLM has suffered from a fall of competitiveness in recent years, under the pressure of low-cost operators and the rise of airlines in the Middle East and in Asia.

In January of last year, the company announced a vast restructuring plan called "Transform 2015."

The group cut its operating loss in 2012 to 300 million euros from a loss of 353 million euros in 2011. This was better than the average figure expected by analysts polled by
Bloomberg financial agency of a loss of 334.6 million euros.

In the fourth quarter of last year, the operating loss was reduced to 143 million euros from 202 million euros 12 months earlier. Net debt, which weighs heavily on the group, fell by 540 million euros to slightly less than 6.0 billion euros.

Sales rose by 5.2 percent to 25.6 billion euros.

Financial director Philippe Calavia said that 2012 was an important year for the group because decisions about the structure and transformation of the company had been taken.

In January, The Local brought you the story of Air France's latest venture, Hop! – a new low-cost airline designed to challenge the dominance of Ryanair and easyJet.

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