PARIS, July 17 Carrefour, Europe's
largest retailer, said on Thursday that like-for-like sales
growth accelerated in the second quarter, reflecting improving
trends in austerity-hit Southern Europe and notably Italy.
The world's largest retailer after Wal-Mart said
second-quarter sales were 20.517 billion euros ($27.75 billion),
above the average forecast of 20.384 billion euros ($27.57
billion) in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Stripping out fuel and currencies, revenue grew 4.9 percent
in the quarter, an acceleration from 3.7 percent growth in the
Italy returned to sales growth for the first time in five
years thanks to a promotional campaign linked to the World Cup.
Elsewhere in Europe, sales rose in Spain for the third
consecutive quarter, while revenue at French hypermarkets grew
for a fifth quarter in a row.
Closely watched same-store sales at French hypermarkets rose
0.4 percent after a 0.7 percent increase in the first quarter
Growth in Brazil, Carrefour's largest market after France,
accelerated in the quarter, while trading conditions remained
weak in China.
($1 = 0.7395 Euros)
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Maya Nikolaeva)