UPDATE 2-Carrefour says Latin America, France boost first-quarter sales

viernes 10 de abril de 2015 04:13 GYT

* Q1 group sales 21 billion euros vs f'cast 20.8 bln

* Organic sales growth 3.2 pct, like-for-like growth 2.5 pct

* Market consensus for 2015 EBIT 2.53-2.55 bln eur "reasonable"

* Shares up more than 3 pct, hit highest since Nov 2010 (Adds share price, analyst comment)

By Pascale Denis

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) - French retailer Carrefour posted higher-than-expected first-quarter sales on Friday, driven by growth in Latin America and an improvement at its domestic hypermarkets.

Shares in the world's second-biggest retailer after Wal-Mart jumped over 3 percent, the top gainers on France's blue-chip CAC 40 index, to their highest level since November 2010. The stock is up a third since the start of the year.

First-quarter group sales reached 21 billion euros ($22.4 billion), an underlying 3.2 percent rise, Carrefour said. Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected sales growth of 2.5 percent to 20.8 billion euros.

Carrefour is stepping up a multi-billion euro investment in store improvements, hoping to cement its turnaround. The retailer, which makes 73 percent of its sales in Europe, has cut costs and prices, accelerated expansion into convenience stores, refreshed stores and given greater autonomy to managers.   Continuación...