Carrefour shares crumble after retailer's weak results

PARIS, March 1 (Reuters) - Shares in French supermarket retailer Carrefour fell sharply on Thursday after Carrefour posted lower operating profits for a second year running and issued a cautious outlook.

Carrefour shares were down 7.3 percent in early session trading, with the stock among the worst performers on both Paris' benchmark CAC-40 index and on the pan-European STOXX 600 index.

Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer behind Wal-Mart, said late on Wednesday that it expected currency exchange rates, along with restructuring and one-off charges, to weigh on profits this year. It also posted lower operating profit for a second year running.

"An eye-catching 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of gross cost savings aids blue-skying over the longer term. However, nearer-term competitive and foreign excxhange conditions remain highly volatile," wrote analysts at investment bank Jefferies, who kept a "hold" rating on Carrefour shares.

Carrefour shares, fell around 20 percent last year, are down around 3 percent so far in 2018.

($1 = 0.8199 euros) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta Editing by Leigh Thomas)