FINANCE

Carrefour sales fall, reaffirms profit expectations

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Paris — French retail giant Carrefour reported Thursday that sales in the second quarter dipped 0.3% to $26.5 billion, beating analysts’ expectations and prompting the retailer to issue earnings guidance to match 2012 expectations of $2.5 to $2.6 billion.

The world’s second largest retailer behind Wal-Mart has been hurt by sliding sales in Europe, as well as strategic missteps in an uncertain economy. But the upbeat report comes just a few weeks after newly appointed CEO Georges Plassat warned it would take three years to turn the company around.

In France, revenue fell 2.1% in the quarter, described as “unsatisfactory” by the company. In Asia, Carrefour’s revenue jumped 14% in the second quarter, bolstered by a favorable currency effect. In Latin America, sales rose 2.7%.

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OPERATIONS

Walgreens names ex-McDonald’s CEO as chairman

BY Staff Writer

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens said Thursday that it has named retired McDonald’s CEO James Skinner as its new non-executive chairman of the board.

Skinner has served on the Walgreens board since 2005. He will succeed Al McNally, who has been non-executive chairman since 2009.

Walgreens said the change "is consistent with its board of directors succession and rotational planning process."

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FINANCE

S&P further lowers rating on J.C. Penney

BY Staff Writer

New York — Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services is further lowering its credit rating on J.C. Penney Co., attributing the move to a continuing weak performance.

J.C. Penney’s corporate credit rating has been lowered to "B+" from "BB-." The junk rating is four notches below investment grade. The move marks the second downgrade from S&P since mid-May.

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