SOURCE: Carrefour SA

August 30, 2007 02:24 ET

Carrefour - Interim Results

Paris, France--(Marketwire - August 30, 2007) -


Press release                            Levallois, 30th August 2007


        H1 2007: On track to meet our Full Year objectives

  2008-2010: Accelerating growth and maximizing shareholder returns


- Our H1 2007 results demonstrate the resilience of our business and
  reflect the execution of our strategy focused on customers and growth

  -  H1 2007 sales : + 5.5% (+ 6.1% on constant exchange rates)

  -  Activity Contribution : + 0.3%

  -  Net income from recurring operations, Group share : + 0.1%

  -  Improving operating free cash flow

The Supervisory Board of Carrefour, which met on the 29th of August 2007, has examined the consolidated accounts for the half year 2007 drawn up by the Management Board on 21 August.


                 Consolidated profit and loss account*


EURm                           H1 2007       H1 2006      Growth

Net sales                       38,845        36,823        +5.5%
Activity Contribution bef. 
Dep. and Amortisation (ACDA)**   2,187         2,128        +2.8%
Activity Contribution            1,364         1,360        +0.3%
% Activity Contribution margin    3.5%          3,7%
Net income from recurring 
operations Group Share            741           740         +0.1%
Net income Group Share            729           706         +3.3%

 * As per IFRS 5, H1 2006 and 2007 accounts have been adjusted 
   for the deconsolidation of Portuguese hypermarkets and 
   Switzerland operations

** Before non recurring items

- In 2008-2010, we will grow faster and maximize shareholder 
  returns by :

  -  Making the brand work harder and generating cash

  -  Optimising capital allocation

  -  Managing the balance sheet actively and leveraging 
     property assets


- This will result in :

  -  Faster growth in profitability,

  -  Free cash flow generation of EUR1.5bn p.a. from 2008,

  -  An improvement in ROCE from close to 20% to at least 
     22% by 2010

  -  Further return to shareholders notably via share buy-backs 
     from cash generated by divestments and the planned IPO 
     of Carrefour Property


(1) H1 2007 results show that our strategy, focused on customers 
    and growth, is on track to deliver


- Group sales increased 5.5% in the first half, or 6.1% at 
  constant exchange rates:

  All regions contributed to an increase in sales, and this was 
  achieved within strongly competitive environments, especially 
  in Western Europe.

  -  In France, our sales were supported by strong volume 
     gains in hypermarkets and supermarkets. Excluding petrol, 
     sales increased 2.5%.  The Group consolidated strong market 
     share gains of 0.7% achieved in H1 2006.


                Regional breakdown of Net Sales
EURm                 H1 2007     H1 2006  Growth  Growth at
                                                 constant exch.
                                                     rates
France                18,126      17,941   +1.0%     + 1.0%
Europe 
(ex France)           14,478      13,644   +6.1%     + 6.3%
Latin America          3,480       2,821  +23.4%    + 26.0%
Asia                   2,760       2,417  +14.2%     +20.0%
Total Group           38,845      36,823   +5.5%      +6.1%

- Activity Contribution grew 0.3% to EUR1,364m, at a slower 
  rate than sales, as expected:

  - Commercial margin, at 22.5%, was resilient as we 
    strengthened our local price and promotion leadership. In 
    France, our commercial margin was down 10bp, reflecting a 
    strong decline in dry grocery margin partly offset 
    by an improved margin mix in non-food and a reduction 
    in supply chain costs

  - SG&A (excluding rents) were stable as a percentage of 
    sales, despite an increase in cost inflation and greater 
    resources allocated to stores undergoing conversion

  - Asset costs (rents & depreciation) were up 9% in H1, 
    continuing to reflect the impact of faster expansion


                       Activity Contribution
EURm                        H1 2007      H1 2006      Growth
Net sales                   38,845       36,823       +5.5%
Commercial income            8,750        8,325        +5.1%
Commercial margin            22.5%        22.6%
SG&A                        (6,563)      (6,197)       +5.9%
Activity Contribution, 
before depreciation 
and amortization             2,187        2,128        +2.8%
Depreciation and 
amortization                 (823)        (768)       + 7.1%
Activity Contribution        1,364        1,360        +0.3%

- International activities reported an 8.5% increase in Activity
  Contribution:

  - Excluding Italy, our international activities recorded a 21%
    increase in Activity Contribution.

  - Our new engines for growth continued to deliver: Activity
    Contribution in countries outside G4 (France, Spain, Italy 
    and Belgium) was up 46% in the period.


           Breakdown of Activity Contribution by region
EURm                 H1 2007       H1 2006      Growth
France                 734           779        - 5.8%
International          630           581        + 8.5%
  Europe (ex France)   436           456        - 4.4%
  Latin America        84            40        + 108.2%
  Asia                 110           84         + 30.4%
Total Group           1,364         1,360       + 0.3%


- Net income Group share, before discontinued activities, 
  was up 0.1%:

  - Financial costs were up EUR10m, as expected, as a result 
    of rising interest rates and a dynamic acquisition 
    pipeline.

  - Tax rate was broadly stable at 29%, while our share in 
    associates declined to EUR2m, reflecting lower exceptional 
    capital gains at our associates this year.


                      Profit and loss account
EURm                        H1 2007      H1 2006       Growth
Activity Contribution        1,364        1,360        + 0.3%
Non recurring elements         23          (9)           Na
EBIT                         1,387        1,351        + 2.7%
Financial costs              (248)        (238)        + 4.0%
Income tax                   (329)        (328)        + 0.3%
Tax rate                     28.9%        29.5%
Minority interest            (71)         (60)       + 17.7%
Associates                     2            16           Na
Net income from rec. 
Ops Group Share               741          740         + 0.1%
Discontinued activities       (12)         (34)
Net income group share        729          706         + 3.3%


- Net debt at the end of H1 improved by more than EUR600m, resulting 
  in solid financial ratios:

  - Free Cash Flow improved by over EUR1bn, driven by solid cash flow
    (+3%) and an improvement in working capital. Capital expenditure 
    was broadly stable at EUR1.1bn.

  - This solid Free Cash Flow helped us finance EUR1bn of 
    acquisitions in H1 07, the largest being Atacadao in Brazil 
    for EUR825m.

  - Cash Flow/ Net debt was 16%, vs. 15% in H1 2006. Financial 
    ratios remained solid.


                    Free Cash Flow and net debt ratios
EURm                          H1 2007      H1 2006      Change
Free Cash Flow                (1,945)      (2,967)    EUR1,022m
Net debt closing               10,212       10,831    (EUR620m)
ACDA/ Financial costs            8.8x         8.9x
Cash Flow/ Net debt               16%          15%


(2) We are confident we will reach our full year goals


- Our H1 results make us confident that our 2007 targets 
  will be met:

  - 2007 sales growth on constant exchange rates > 2006 
    (reported 6.4%)

  - Growth in Activity contribution, at a slower pace than sales

- In France, we are assuming no change in the pricing environment
  in the H2:

  - We remain committed to our non-negotiable priority of 
    local price leadership, whatever the competitive 
    environment

- Our engines for growth will continue to deliver:

  - Growth markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia continue 
    to record strong trends

  - Our recent acquisitions, Atacadao and Ahold Polska, will 
    contribute to growth

- We continue to optimise our portfolio:

  - Disposal of Portuguese hypermarkets for an EV of EUR662m 
    (July 2007)

  - Disposal of Switzerland for an EV of around EUR330m
    (August 2007)


(3) 2008 - 2010: turning the virtuous circle faster


- We will use all our levers for value creation at our disposal,
  including:

  - Making the brand work harder and generating cash, via 
    reinforcing our commercial model (food, non-food, using 
    our multi-format single brand strategy), managing the 
    commercial margin, reducing costs and controlling capital 
    expenditure to a maximum of EUR3bn

  - A more rigorous allocation of capital: we target EUR1.5bn 
    of disposals between 2007 and 2008 as part of our 
    portfolio optimisation

  - A more active management of our balance sheet, including 
    the leverage of the value of our property assets


- As a result, we will be able to accelerate growth and 
  maximize shareholder returns:

  - From 2008, Activity Contribution will grow at least in 
    line with sales

  - From 2008, Free Cash Flow will increase to EUR1.5bn p.a. The 
    cash will be mainly used to accelerate growth in the core 
    business through tactical acquisitions

  - ROCE will increase from close to 20% to at least 22% by 
    2010

  - We expect to list our dedicated real estate vehicle,
    Carrefour Property, in 2008 (subject to market 
    conditions):

    -  The pan-European vehicle Carrefour Property will 
       consist of around 60% of our estimated total property 
       value (between 20 and EUR24bn), representing 3.7
       million m(2) (around 280 hypermarkets and 540 
       supermarkets),

    -  We plan to open a portion of the capital of this 
       vehicle to outside investors worth around EUR3bn.

  - Cash from divestments and the IPO of Carrefour Property 
    will be returned mainly via share buy-backs to maximize 
    shareholder returns. These buy backs could be worth up 
    to EUR4.5bn* on the period.

                               Next appointment:
                          Publication of Q3 2007 sales
                                16 October 2007

* Subject to the approval at the 2008 AGM

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange