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Carrefour says French recovery gains momentum

Chris Whitehead | Digital Vision | Getty Images

Carrefour said sales at its French hypermarkets returned to growth in the third quarter while China also improved, further reassuring investors about Chief Executive Georges Plassat's ability to revive the world's second-largest retailer.

Growth in Brazil, Carrefour's largest market after France, was robust in the quarter while austerity-hit Spain also confirmed the resilience seen in the previous quarter, Carrefour said on Thursday.

(Read More: Who's winning the UK supermarket wars?)

Chief Financial Officer Pierre-Jean Sivignon told reporters the market consensus for 2013 earnings before interest and taxes of around 2.19 billion euros ($2.95 billion) was "reasonable", provided exchange rates in Latin American currencies did not worsen versus the euro.

The world's largest retailer after Wal-Mart said third-quarter sales were 21.111 billion euros, for like-for-like growth of 3.1 percent, excluding fuel.

(Read More: Carrefour to Boost 2013 Spending, 2012 Profit Down)

Closely watched same-store sales at Carrefour's French hypermarkets rose 3.0 percent, reversing a 1.1 percent decline in the second quarter and a 2.9 percent drop in the first.

Analysts had eyed a rise of between 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent in the quarter in French hypermarket sales.

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