Carrefour eyes higher capex to cement turnaround

Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, said on Thursday it would boost investments to renovate and open stores this year as it cements its turnaround.

The company said it was also waiting for the right time to float its Carmila property unit on the stock exchange.

Europe's biggest retailer proposed raising its 2015 dividend by 2.9 percent to 0.70 euros a share after operating profit rose 2.4 percent to 2.445 billion euros ($2.68 billion), in line with a Thomson Reuters poll average of 2.45 billion euros.

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Operating profit rose 33.4 percent in Europe, excluding France, driven by an economic recovery in Spain and Italy, while the Brazilian business held up well in the face of a recession, Carrefour said.

This countered an operating profit decline in its biggest market of France, which reflected the integration of recently acquired Dia stores and a rise in taxes on larger commercial spaces. China, which makes 5 percent of sales, was weak amid slowing consumption, the retailer added.

Carrefour said it would invest between 2.5 billion euros and 2.6 billion euros in 2016 on renovating and expanding stores. This compares with 2.4 billion last year.