French big box retailer Carrefour sees sales slide as southern Europe continues to weigh

PARIS – French big box retailer Carrefour saw its sales fall in the third quarter of the year, as the persistently poor economy in southern Europe stymies the company’s effort at a turnaround.

The company said Thursday that revenue was 21.1 billion euros ($28.6 billion) in the July-to-September quarter, down 1.3 per cent at current exchange rates from the same quarter last year.

France was a notable bright spot, with sales up at all store sizes and up 1.4 per cent overall. France, where the company makes half of its revenue, is central to its turnaround plan.

But southern Europe continues to drag, particularly Italy. The company replaced the management team there earlier this year, and chief financial officer Pierre-Jean Sivignon said there were signs of improvement but organic sales fell 4.6 per cent.