Carrefour prepares Greek partner for Cyprus expansion

By Anita Awbi

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carrefour Retailing Hypermarket Wal-mart

Europe's largest retailer Carrefour has signed a €6m deal to open
its first supermarket chain in Cyprus, following the firm's
successful entry into the island's cash and carry market last year.

Marinopoulos, Carrefour's partner for Cyprus, Greece and Bulgaria, will rent space from Woolworth properties to open stores in the Shacolas retail park and the Engomi market.

The agreement, signed in Athens last week, marks the latest venture in Cyprus for the French retailer and signals a new focus on the country's retail sector.

Last year Carrefour Marinopoulos bought the Chris Cash and Carry chain for €37m. The chain is the second largest food retailer in Cyprus, with net sales of €94.5m in 2004.

Meanwhile, over in Greece Carrefour's Marinopoulos subsidiary opened its eighteenth hypermarket in Drama this week.

Jerome Loubere, the managing director of Carrefour Marinopoulos stated yesterday that the hypermarket is part of the group's investment strategy to reduce unemployment in the region.

The company also operates under the Champion and Dia discount store banners in the country. It is currently the top food retailer in Greece with sales of €2.04bn per year and 597 stores.

Across the Carrefour group, sales for the second quarter of 2006 were €21.4bn, an increase of 9.1 per cent on the same period last year.

By region, sales in Europe outside of France were €8.06bn, up 7.9 per cent on the first quarter. Spanish sales were up 3.6 per cent and sales in Italy grew 6.8 per cent, but the company revealed both hyper and supermarket sales fell in "challenging" Belgium.

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