Carrefour raises cost savings goal as first-half core profits rise

PARIS, July 28 (Reuters) - French supermarket retailer Carrefour on Tuesday raised its cost savings goal under its strategic overhaul plan as Europe’s largest retailer delivered cost cuts of 480 million euros ($563 million) in the first half of 2020.

Carrefour said group operating profits rose 29.1% at constant exchange rates from the same period last year to 718 million euros. This compared with 628 million euros in a Reuters poll of three analysts. The performance reflected cost cuts, strong second quarter sales in Brazil and Spain, which made up for a more subdued performance in France where sales at large hypermarkets fell 3.6% like-for-like due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Carrefour said it was now targeting cost savings of 3.0 billion euros on an annual basis by the end of 2020 against a previous target of 2.8 billion euros.

Carrefour sticked to its other financial and operational targets under its 2022 strategy plan aimed at boosting sales and profits and tackling competition from Amazon.

$1 = 0.8530 euros Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Edmund Blair