Lockdowns help Carrefour sales hit 20-year high

Europe's largest retailer Carrefour is to continue slashing costs and cash flow targets.

That after it achieved a goal of $3.6 billion in savings by 2020.

The news on Thursday (Feb 18) sent its shares up as much as 3% in morning trade.

The French retailer saw a possible takeover by Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard unravel last month after opposition from the French government.

But it reported a 16.4% rise in 2020 recurring operating profit to 2.6 billion dollars and said it scored its best sales performance in 20 years.

In a further sign of its confidence, Carrefour said it would reward investors with a full cash dividend payment instead of a payment in shares.

2020 sales grew 7.8% on a like-for-like basis, reflecting strong sales in Brazil, France, and Spain.

That as retailers across the world benefit from the demand generated by lockdowns.

Carrefour is in the middle of a five-year plan to cut costs and jobs.

As well as boost e-commerce investment to lift sales and tackle competition from Amazon.

It is also expanding into convenience stores to reduce its reliance on hypermarkets, and focusing more on organic products and private labels.

Last year it sealed a purchasing alliance with British rival Tesco