Weak S.Europe, France weigh on Carrefour sales

PARIS, April 18 Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:55am EDT

PARIS, April 18 (Reuters) - Carrefour, Europe's biggest retailer, posted a 0.2 percent rise in first-quarter like-for-like sales on Thursday, reflecting difficult trading conditions in Spain and Italy and deteriorating sales at its French hypermarkets.

Elsewhere, Brazil, Carrefour's largest market after France, continued to show robust growth, and China improved its performance.

The world's largest retailer after Wal-Mart said first-quarter sales were 20.8 billion euros ($27.1 billion), slightly below the average 20.9 billion forecast in a Reuters poll.

Stripping out fuel and currencies, revenue in France eased 1.4 percent after a 0.8 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Closely watched same-store sales at Carrefour's French hypermarkets fell 2.9 percent after a 2 percent decline in the fourth quarter. ($1 = 0.7668 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)

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