Carrefour, Europe’s biggest retailer and second largest in the world, posted yesterday sluggish sales of 250 mln euros in Romanian market, largely pared by the devaluation of the leu against the single European currency, that plummeted from 3.7276 lei/euro in march 2008, to 4.2348 on March 31, 2009.
The sales increased by 6.9%, from 234 mln euro in prior-year period at the current currency exchange rate and by 23.5% at the constant exchange rates.

A year earlier, Carrefour Romania booked the biggest increase in annual sales of the group, of 51.8% at a constant currency exchange rate, up to 1.19 bln euros. At the current exchange rates, the sales of the Romanian branch of the retailer hiked 37.4% in 2008.

Carrefour group reported the first quarterly decline in sales of the last 6 years, the retailer citing a sagging consumer demand.

Carrefour posted sales drought for all European markets, except Romania and Portugal. In the Portuguese market, Carrefour’s sales climbed 4.3% in first quarter, slightly below Carrefour Romania.

The group with over 495,000 staff, in over 15,000 stores in 33 countries said it touched 22.7 bln euros in sales in first quarter 2009, down 2.8% from prior year period.

The sales volume of Carrefour Romania accounted for 1.1% of Carrefour’s total sales. In France, Carrefour sales shrank 5.1% in first quarter, down to 9.59 bln euros.

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