Carrefour ended talks over a possible tie-up with unlisted rival Auchan. They said it remained on the offensive as it kept a guidance for 2021 net free cash flow above 1 billion euros. Europe’s largest retailer said revenue growth slowed in the third quarter. This is reflecting the weaker sales in the core French market. Carrefour also faced high year-ago comparables in the quarter. Finance chief Matthieu Malige said that they are now confident about closing 2021 roughly in line with the current consensus.
Chairman and CEO Alexandre Bompard said in a statement that with its robust balance sheet, and thanks to the commitment of its teams, Carrefour is attractive and offensive, for the benefit of its customers and its shareholders. Carrefour and Auchan ended talks over a possible partnership. Bompard’s plans to create a Gallic supermarket powerhouse have been frustrated. Carrefour is in the midst of a five-year plan. That was launched in January 2018 to cut costs and boost e-commerce investment. So that they can improve profits and sales.
Carrefour reappointed Bompard to lead for another three years. Bompard has said he is working on a new strategic plan. Malige said that there is no decision had yet been taken on potential disposals. They are taking initiatives on potential bolt-on M&A. Also, with a focus on their three core markets, such as France, Spain and Brazil. And they don’t need any transformational M&A. he also added that they are active in their various geographies to see if they have any further opportunities for bolt-on M&A. Carrefour said sales reached 20.468 billion euros in the third quarter. Bompard in France has made reviving flagging sales at hypermarket stores. French hypermarket sales alone fell 2.8% in the quarter. The introduction in France of a health pass that customers had to show in shopping malls with a surface area of more than 20,000 square metres (215,278 sq ft) hit business in the third quarter at the hypermarket stores. At end-September, Carrefour had no more stores affected by the pass.