French retailer Carrefour rings up loss in 2017

Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer, said its operating profit fell for the second straight year, as earnings dropped sharply in its core French market. (Reuters)
Updated 01 March 2018

French retailer Carrefour rings up loss in 2017

PARIS: Carrefour said Wednesday it fell into a loss last year as competition among retailers in France intensified and which reinforced the need to push forward with an overhaul it announced last month.
Penalized by exceptional items, including costs related to an old chain of stores in France, the food and goods retailer said it suffered a net loss of 531 million euros ($649 million).
Without exceptional items Carrefour would have earned 773 million euros, but that is still a drop of 25 percent from the equivalent figure for 2016.
Sales growth slowed and its operating margin narrowed as well last year.
“The 2017 results that we are presenting today demonstrate the necessity of implementing without delay Carrefour’s transformation plan,” chief executive Alexandre Bompard said in a statement.
Last month Bompard unveiled an overhaul that will see thousands of job cuts, including some 2,400 at its French operations. Operations are also to be streamlined and product offerings refreshed including more organic produce.
Carrefour, which was the world’s second-biggest retailer at the start of the century after US giant Wal-Mart, has since slipped to ninth position, according to the Deloitte consultancy, having been overtaken by the likes of Amazon and Costco.
Sales rose by 3 percent last year to 88.24 billion euros. On a like-for-like basis, however, the growth rate slid to 1.6 percent from 3 percent in 2016.


Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

Updated 16 September 2019

Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

  • The Houthi attacks hit two Aramco sites and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday the US was ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to the attacks

HONG KONG: Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world’s top producer by half, fueling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country.
Brent futures surged $12 in the first few minutes of business — the most in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988 and representing a jump of nearly 20 percent — while WTI jumped more than $8, or 15 percent.
Both contracts pared the gains but were both still more than 10 percent up.
The attack by Tehran-backed Houthi militia in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, hit two sites owned by state-run giant Aramco and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.
“Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Trump authorized the release of US supplies from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Aramco said more than half of the five million barrels of production lost will be restored by tomorrow.
But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world’s biggest producer.
Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
“One thing we can say with confidence is that if part of the reason for last week’s fall in oil and improvement in geopolitical risk sentiment was the news of John Bolton’s sacking ... and thoughts this was a precursor to some form of rapprochement between Trump and Iran, then it is no longer valid,” said Ray Attrill at National Australia Bank.