Paris Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, said Thursday net profit for 2008 slid 45%, as the company was forced to cut prices in its French home market where the economic crisis has knocked consumer confidence.
The company said full-year net profit fell to 1.27 billion euros ($1.63 billion), mainly due to impairment charges and a tax provision. Sales rose 5.9%.
To boost sales, Carrefour will open new stores, notably in high-growth countries in Latin America and Asia, and invest in promotions to improve its price image in France.
France accounts for about 40% of Carrefour's sales. It operates a total of 5,517 stores in the country, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, deep discount stores and convenience shops.