Carrefour boosted by at-home dining

Carrefour plans to buy back shares worth up to 500 million euros - or about $601 million - for the first time in a decade.

That after it reported strong first quarter growth on Wednesday (April 21).

Sales hit more than $22 billion over the period, marking like-for-like growth of 4.2% and reflecting robust food sales in the key markets of Brazil, France and Spain.

In France alone, sales growth reached 3.5% in the first quarter.

Shares rose around 4% in Wednesday trading following the news.

Carrefour and food retailers worldwide have benefited from diners being forced to stay at home over the past year.

With new lockdown measures in place across France growth remained solid, including in hypermarkets and supermarkets.

Europe's largest food retailer is also in the midst of a five-year plan to cut costs and boost e-commerce investment.

The plan aims to lift profits and revenues, and fend off competition from Amazon.