UPDATE 3-Carrefour's sales growth gets a boost from Brazil

jueves 10 de abril de 2014 10:53 GYT

* French Q1 like-for-like hypermarket sales growth slows vs Q4

* Brazil accelerates, Spain grows for second quarter in a row

* Consensus 2014 EBIT of 2.38 bln euros is "reasonable"-CFO (Adds further details, updates share price)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, April 10 (Reuters) - Carrefour, the world's second biggest retailer, said sales growth quickened in the first quarter, driven by Brazil, its second largest market after France and which Chief Executive Georges Plassat has earmarked for further expansion.

Sales in austerity-hit Spain rose for the second consecutive quarter while growth at Carrefour's troubled French hypermarkets business slowed amid a price war among retailers.

China, another key emerging market where Carrefour wants to expand further, also stayed weak in the last three months, but overall the company said the group was still on course to meet expectations for a rise in profits this year.

Chief Financial Officer Pierre-Jean Sivignon said the consensus of analysts' forecasts for an operating profit of around 2.38 billion euros this year was "reasonable at this stage". This would be a 6.3 percent rise on the 2013 result.

"We see this quarter as the conclusion of a cycle. The final pieces of the management reshuffle initiated over previous quarters are falling into place in Europe and Brazil," said PlanetRetail analyst Gildas Aitamer.   Continuación...