Carrefour increases Colombian stake

Related tags Carrefour Hypermarket

Carrefour is to increase its stake in its Colombian unit to 100 per
cent by buying out the 45 per cent currently held by minority

With currency problems in Latin America in particular taking a significant toll on results at French retailer Carrefour, the company could be forgiven for seeking to reduce its exposure to that part of the world.

But despite the current short-term difficulties in many Latin American countries, Carrefour​ is clearly committed to doing business there, and is aware of the significant potential in many countries - not least in Colombia.

Europe's leading supermarket group has today announced that it is to increase its stake in its Colombian operations to 100 per cent, buying out the 45 per cent stake currently held by minority shareholders for an undisclosed sum.

Valores Bavaria currently holds 35 per cent of Carrefour Colombia, while Sigla holds the remaining 10 per cent.

Carrefour Colombia currently operates nine hypermarkets, with sales of around €267 million in 2002. A further two or three stores are slated for opening later this year. Carrefour said the acquisition of the 45 per cent stake would have a positive impact on profits in 2003.

Carrefour's latest results, from the first quarter of the year, continued to reflect the difficulties facing the group in Latin America. Although the group registered excellent like-for-like sales in Brazil, where hypermarket turnover showed double digit growth and supermarkets sales increased 22.4 per cent, the currency effect pushed down sales in euros by 34.5 per cent to €1.2 billion.

Carrefour's commitment to Latin America comes in stark contrast to one of its main rivals, Ahold, which is preparing to withdraw from most countries there in order to bolster its flagging performance.

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