PARIS, March 7 Carrefour, Europe's
biggest retailer, said it would boost capital spending this year
to revive its struggling hypermarkets after 2012 profits fell
2.6 percent, depressed by falling demand in recession-hit Spain
The French retailer, which is battling to reverse years of
underperformance in Europe, said it would invest between 2.2
billion and 2.3 billion euros against 1.547 billion last year,
above analysts' expectations of 1.955 billion euros for 2013.
Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer behind
Wal-Mart, reported 2012 operating profit fell to 2.140
billion euros, still topping analysts' expectations for 2.061
billion euros in a ThomsonReuters I/B/E/S poll.
Carrefour, which has been selling non-core assets to raise
cash to defend positions in key markets of western Europe, China
and Brazil and strengthen its balance sheet, said net debt
declined by 2.6 billion euros to 4.320 billion at end-2012.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Christian Plumb)