Carrefour has issued another profit warning. It’s the fourth in as many months.
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Europe’s No. 1 retailer says it expects profits for 2011 to fall by 20%, from 15% previously.
The warning comes as shoppers across Europe are hit by a combination of higher prices, limited wage growth and government austerity measures.
The French retailer is suffering more than most – as sales in hypermarkets are losing out to specialist stores.
Forty percent of the company’s business comes from France, where sales at hypermarkets fell 4.6% after a second-quarter drop of 1.7%.
The group also admitted making mistakes – such as raising prices before rivals earlier in the year.
Carrefour’s had better results in emerging markets. Sales in Latin America jumped 10%, but analysts say the retailer is lagging behind rivals in China and Brazil.
The profit warning sent Carrefour shares down more than 5% in mid morning trade.
Bottom line: Europe’s No. 1 retailer, Carrefour, expects its operating profit for 2011 to fall by as much as 20% amid tough retail conditions in western European markets.