Europe’s Largest Retailer Announces Disappointing Fourth Quarter Sales

Carrefour, Paris

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PARIS (AP) — French retailer Carrefour SA says its sales grew minimally in 2011, but that it expects to report losses of up to 20 per cent for the year.Europe’s largest retailer by sales has repeatedly lowered its profit expectations in recent months. On Thursday, it said its 2011 profits would likely be at the bottom of the last range it gave, losses between 15 and 20 per cent.

The company posted euro91.5 billion ($117.4 billion) in sales last year, up 1.1 per cent, driven largely by strong demand in Asia and Latin America as Europe’s debt crisis decimated consumption in Carrefour’s largest markets.

Carrefour says the rollout of its upmarket Carrefour Planet stores for 2012 would be “pragmatically reviewed” in light of economic conditions. The company hoped those stores would re-energize European sales.