Hyparlo, the French group which operates 12 French hypermarkets under the Carrefour franchise, has reported a good first half, with sales rising 4.7 per cent from €504 million to €528 million.
Operating profit during the six months rose to €5.35 million from losses of €1.62 million a year before, helped by the sale of a loss-making store at Senigallia in Italy, the recovery of two other Italian stores in Portogruaro and Lucca.
Hyparlo said that its hypermarkets in Saint-Egreve, near Grenoble and in Orange had also returned to profitability during the half, and all its other hypermarkets had shown steady progress thanks to a discounting policy designed to increase market share, to good cost control and to better management of the synergies with Carrefour.
At net level, profits of €1.33 million in 2001 became losses of €0.61 million, due in part to one-off gains of €5.78 million in 2001 related to the sale of the Italian store but also to the effects of hyperinflation in Romania, where Hyparlo also operates and which cost the company some €2 million.
Hyparlo said that it planned to continue its expansion in Italy and Romania after improving its ability to raise capital and a reduction in its debt level.
Two new service station outlets will open soon in Portogruaro in Italy and Bucharest in Romania, and construction is underway on two hypermarkets, in Florence and Bucharest, with the openings planned for 2003.
Hyparlo said that despite difficult economic conditions in France, it would maintain its profit forecasts for 2002 - operating profit up at least 30 per cent and net profit to rise to more than €8 million. Its store portfolio in 2003 will include 12 hypermarkets in France, three in Italy and two in Romania.