The French large distribution group Carrefour confirmed on Thursday its good economic performance during the health crisis, with a 17.9% rise in its profits to 1,011 million euros and the largest increase in sales in 20 years.
The group of hypermarkets and supermarkets increased its turnover in comparable figures by 7.8%, which stood at 78,609 million, while its current operating result improved by 16.4% to 2,173 million euros, it said in a statement.
The CEO of Carrefour, Alexandre Bompard, highlighted the good behavior of his group in the economic context, after three years of profound transformations of the company, and its adaptation to new customer behaviors, with bets on electronic commerce and biological products and closeness.
The company highlighted its “lasting growth” in its three key markets, France, Spain and Brazil, as it shows that its improvement in turnover is the best achieved in 20 years, at a comparable scope.
In France, its main market, the increase in sales was 3.6%.
In Spain, billing improved by 7.1%, with a rise of 6% in the last quarter, in which the good commercial dynamics continued, in particular thanks to the good performance of supermarkets, while electronic food commerce progressed by 73%.
Brazil led the improvement recorded in Latin America, where sales increased 23%, with increases of 18.2% in that country and 49.3% in Argentina.
In the last quarter, the increase in billing was 24.5% in Brazil.
The group also highlighted its adaptation to new forms of consumption, such as online commerce, amplified by the context of the health crisis and which shot up 70%, while sales of organic products rose 18%.
Carrefour’s goal was to go from the 2,300 million euros of electronic commerce registered this year to 4,200 million in 2022, while it aims for biological products to go from 2,700 million to 4,800 million.
The hypermarket giant, which saw its merger project with the Canadian Couche-Tard halted this year, proceeded last year to “specific purchases”, such as 172 Supersol supermarkets in Spain, which will be completed in the first half of this year. year, or 30 Makro stores in Brazil.
The group noted that it has met its goal of cutting 3 billion expenses in 2020 and set a new one, 2.4 billion in supplemental savings per year in 2023.
Thanks to these good results, Bompard indicated that the group can begin to release treasury and return to normality in the payment of the dividend, which in recent years had been in shares, due to the lack of liquidity.
Carrefour has set itself the objective of generating 1 billion in cash from this year and will already propose the payment of a dividend of 0.48 euros per share in liquid form from these accounts.
The group, whose course on the stock market is stagnant at around 15 euros per title, aspires to make it rise with this type of measures.