Carrefour rings up first half net profit

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French retail giant Carrefour rebounded into profitability in the first of the year, posting Tuesday a net profit of 82 million euros (104 million dollars).

For the same period of last year, the giant international group had reported a loss of 58 million euros.

"Carrefour posted solid growth in sales and operating profit before non-recurring items in a difficult environment and we are on track to achieve the objectives set as part of our transformation plan," the company's chief financial officer, Pierre Bouchut, said in a conference call.

Carrefour said it was on track to hit its target of an operating profit of 3.1 billion euros this year.

Carrefour shares gained 0.10 percent to 36.14 euros in trading following the announcement, and were heavily outperforming the Paris stock market, showing a 9.0-percent gain from the beginning of the year compared to a 12.0-percent loss for the CAC 40 index.

Analysts at the US bank Citigroup raised their recommendation for shares in Carrefour, which is about to launch a reinvention of its hypermarket model, to "buy" from "hold".

© 2010 AFP

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