Carrefour issues third profit warning
France's Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer, cut its full-year profit forecast on Thursday for the third time this year, blaming an increasingly uncertain business climate.
The company said it now expects 2011 operating profit to fall by as much as to 20 percent, worse that the 15-percent drop it forecast in August.
"Faced with an increasingly uncertain environment, we are, as a matter of prudence, broadening the range of our 2011 ... guidance to a decline of 15 percent to 20 percent," Carrefour chairman and chief executive Lars Olofsson said in a statement.
The news sent Carrefour shares tumbling by more than 4.0 percent in midday trading on a Paris stock market down 1.0 percent.
The retailer said sales in the third quarter were almost flat, with a 0.3 percent increase to 22.8 billion euros ($31.3 billion).
Analysts were especially disappointed by French sales which, excluding auto fuel, fell 2.3 percent in the July-September period.
At Chevreux brokerage house in Paris, analysts said the company had "no visibility in the short-term" and worried that French clients were taking their business elsewhere, disappointed by a recent rebranding campaign.
© 2011 AFP