Carrefour, the world's second-biggest retailer, reported on Wednesday a half-year loss of 249 million euros ($359 million) and said it now expected annual operating profit to drop by 15 percent.Analysts interviewed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a half-year profit of 31 million euros.
While the retailer's sales rose by 2.3 percent to 39.6 billion euros, the results were slammed by 884 million euros in non-recurring charges, including 516 million in impairments charges mostly linked to Italian operations.
"In the first half of 2011, Carrefour managed to grow its sales, driven by emerging markets, but overall results were unsatisfactory, weighed down by a poor performance in France and non-recurring items," chief executive Lars Olofsson said in a statement.
He said the company would pursue its transformation plans and would favour long-term value creation over short-term gains, and thus expected annual current operating profit to drop 15 percent.During a news conference Olofsson said Carrefour's Brazil operations were not for sale, saying the emerging market powerhouse which already accounts for 14 percent of its global sales was key to its future.
US retail giant Wal-Mart had reportedly shown interest in Carrefour's Brazilian operations after Carrefour's bid to merge with CBD Pao de Acucar to create the country's largest retailer failed last month.The company's share price sagged by nearly 3.5 percent approaching midday in a Paris market up 1.3 percent.