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Carrefour's 2001 Sales Rise Despite Slowdown in Argentina

LONDON - Carrefour said that worldwide sales for the year to December rose by 7% to 78 billion euros ($69.70 billion), boosting its share of the French market, The BBC reported. The announcement dispelled fears among analysts who feared that the company would have to set aside cash to cover losses in Argentina, where Carrefour has nearly 400 stores.

Carrefour said its financial position in Argentina remains strong, despite a 30% devaluation of the peso earlier this week.

However, total sales at the company's South American division fell by 12.8% in 2001, pressured by a sharp economic slowdown in Argentina and Brazil.

Sales in Europe outside France grew most strongly, rising by 29%, followed by Asia with 10.7%.

The French retail giant, which merged with its domestic rival Promodes two years ago, has a total of 9,000 shops worldwide spread over more than 30 countries.

This makes it the world's second biggest retailer after Wal-Mart of the United States.
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