UPDATE 2-Carrefour says turnaround taking hold in Europe and Brazil
* H1 operating profit 726 mln euros, up 2.6 pct
* Dia integration, retail tax weigh on French profitability
* Rest of Europe and Brazilian business strong
* Retailer sticks to 2015 capex, cash flow goals (Recasts with CEO comments from news conference, analyst, shares)
By Dominique Vidalon
PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - France's Carrefour said its turnaround plan was reaping rewards in Europe and Brazil, where strong performances helped it beat first-half profit forecasts.
The world's second-largest retailer, which has suffered from a reliance on the hypermarket format it pioneered as customers shift to local and online shopping, is in the third year of a global recovery plan started by Chief Executive Georges Plassat.
The company, which makes about three-quarters of it sales in Europe, is making price and cost cuts and expanding into smaller convenience stores, while also revamping its hypermarkets.
Its operating profits in Europe - outside its home market - tripled in the first half of the year, while Latin American earnings rose by more than a quarter. Continuación...