Carrefour raises profits, details property spin-off

7th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

France-based supermarket group Carrefour, the second biggest retailer in the world, announced a net profit of 2.29 billion euros for 2007.

   PARIS, March 7, 2008 - France-based supermarket group Carrefour, the second biggest retailer in the world, announced Thursday a net profit of 2.29 billion
euros (3.5 billion dollars) for 2007, a 1.4-percent increase from 2006.
   It also said it expected to raise 4.0-4.5 billion euros through a two-stage
sale of shares in a future property division that will own the group's real
estate assets.
   Carrefour is to carve out most of its property and put the assets into a
separate company, Carrefour Property, which will then be partially sold,
firstly via a private placement of shares in late 2008.
   This will raise 1.0-1.5 billion euros, with a public sale of shares "when
market conditions are met" expected to raise another 3.0 billion euros, the
company said.
   Chief executive Jose Luis Duran also said he expected an investment group
controlled by French billionaire Bernard Arnault and US fund Colony Capital
would become a new core shareholder in Carrefour.
   On Wednesday, members of the Halley family, jointly the biggest
shareholders in the company, said they were ending a pact linking their stakes
in April.
   Duran noted that this would result in the company having a new core
shareholder, probably Blue Capital, the Arnault-Colony investment group which
bought 10 percent of Carrefour last year.
   Blue Capital said in a statement Wednesday that it "reiterates the
strategic nature of its shareholding" as well as its confidence in
   The shareholder has been seen as a key factor behind Carrefour's decision
to unlock value from its property portfolio.
   Carrefour said it had operated in "a tough competitive environment" in 2007
and stuck by targets for increasing sales and operating profit in 2008.
   Sales from existing assets are forecast to increase 6-8 percent this year.
   Operating profit rose 3.3 percent in 2007 to 3.36 billion euros.


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