News: France-based food company Carrefour has posted a rise of 4.9% y-o-y in its operating profit in H113 to US$1.01bn, reports KamCity. The company's net profit totalled US$1.19bn while sales declined by 0.8% y-o-y to US$48.33bn. Carrefour said its price image with local customers was improving and profitability remained good at all the store formats across the country as it reported an increase of 75.4% y-o-y in its operating profit to US$638.3mn. The company's sales were up by 13.3% y-o-y to US$9.20bn in Latin America and it reported an increase of 2.7% y-o-y in adjusted sales to US$4.50bn across Asia.
BMI View: France's mass grocery retail (MGR) sector is one of the most diverse and sophisticated in Western Europe. Over the last decade, business strategies have been determined by a series of laws intended to protect small-shop owners and to maintain equilibrium between small and large businesses in France. These include the 1996 Raffarin Law, which restricted the extensive growth of large retail outlets; and the Galland Law of 1997, which sought to protect the co-existence of small independent retailers by ensuring suppliers offer the same discounts to all retailers and prohibiting companies from selling branded products below invoice costs. In addition, the New Economic Regulations of 2001 increased regulation of the relationship between large retailers and suppliers in an attempt to defend independent chains from integrated retailers.