UPDATE 2-Carrefour sees improved French margin within two years

jueves 28 de julio de 2016 10:28 GYT

* H1 recurring operating profit up 5.3 pct at constant FX

* H1 operating margin in France unchanged at 1.8 pct

* CEO pledges 0.5 pct margin improvement in 2 years

* Open to local partners in loss-making China unit

* May launch property, Brazil flotations next year (Recasts after analyst meeting)

By Pascale Denis and Tim Hepher

PARIS, July 28 (Reuters) - Retail giant Carrefour pledged on Thursday to boost operating margins in its cut-throat domestic market, after posting higher profits from Brazil and southern Europe, and signalled it is open to investors in its loss-making China arm.

The world's second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart said first-half recurring operating profit rose 5.3 percent to 706 million euros ($785 million) at constant exchange rates, beating the average estimate of 685 million in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Half-year operating profit in France fell 3 percent to 312 million euros, also coming in ahead of market forecasts of 303 million but with margins stable at 1.8 percent.   Continuación...