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French protests weigh on Carrefour fourth-quarter hypermarket sales



The logo of Carrefour is seen on shopping trolleys at the Carrefour Lingostiere in Nice, France, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

PARIS (Reuters) – Carrefour (CARR.PA), Europe’s largest retailer, said on Tuesday that sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter, as 10 weeks of anti-government protests hurt hypermarket sales in its core French market.

Elsewhere in Europe, Spain and Italy remained tough spots amid competitive pressures and challenging economic conditions but Brazil continued to improve.

Fourth-quarter sales came to 22.6 billion euros (25.7 billion), broadly in line with expectations.

Growth reached 1.9 percent on a like-for-like basis excluding fuel and calendar effects, against 2.1 percent in the previous quarter. In France alone, hypermarket sales were down 2.2 percent.

Carrefour is in the midst of a five-year plan it launched a year ago to cut costs and jobs, boost E-commerce investment and seek a partnership in China with Tencent (0700.HK) in a bid to boost profits and revenues and help it tackle competition from Amazon (AMZN.O). It kept all its targets under the plan.

($1 = 0.8804 euros)

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain