Europe trading tough for Carrefour

Carrefour, Europe’s biggest retailer, sees little sign of economic improvement in the austerity-stricken continent after falling demand in Spain and Italy and weakening trade in its core French market held back first-quarter sales. Trends were more positive elsewhere, however, with Brazil, Carrefour’s largest market after France, continuing to show robust growth, and an improving performance in China. The French group said it made first-quarter sales of €20.8bn (£17.8bn), just below forecasts of €20.9bn.