BUSINESS

Carrefour’s sales in Spain rise for first time in five years

Retail distribution giant reported growth in organic revenues of 1.7 percent

Hypermarket giant Carrefour’s sales in the last quarter of 2013 in Spain grew on an annual basis for the first time in five years, providing further evidence that the Spanish economy is starting to emerge from a deep crisis.

In a statement on its 2013 financial results, Carrefour said sales in Spain climbed 1.2 percent in the period October-December, “confirming the improved momentum recorded throughout 2103.” The last time sales were up was in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Organic sales, which exclude gasoline and factor out differences in the number of working days, climbed an annual 1.7 percent. The gradual improvement in Spain was reflected by the fact that sales fell 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2013, 1.7 percent in the second and 0.9 percent in the third.

Spain emerged from its longest recession since the restoration of democracy in the third quarter of last year when GDP rose 0.1 percent from the previous three months. The government announced earlier this week that growth accelerated to 0.3 percent in the final quarter of 2013 and that it may revise upward its growth forecast of 0.7 percent for this year.

Spain is Carrefour’s third biggest market globally after France and Brazil. Global organic sales of the retail distributor were up 2.3 percent for the whole of 2013 to 84.324 billion euros and climbed 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter.