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Dow Jones Newswires: Carrefour aims for higher free cash flow as it sets out midterm focus on core markets, cost savings


Carrefour SA on Tuesday set out a plan to step up investment and maintain annual share buybacks from higher earnings, helped by increased cost savings over the coming years.

The French grocer

is aiming for annual net free cash flow of more than 1.7 billion euros ($1.70 billion) by 2026, boosted by a rise in yearly investments to more than EUR2 billion from around EUR1.7 billion currently. This year, the company is aiming for FCF above EUR1 billion.

Business focus will be on development of the e-commerce channel–with a target of more than EUR10 billion in gross merchandise value by 2026–as well as on core markets in Europe and Latin America, Carrefour said. The company will also focus on increasing sales of its private-label products, which should rise to 40% of food revenue by 2026 compared with 33% this year.

Cost savings should come via a focus on efficiency, including in operations and in the procurement, Carrefour said.

The planned increase in cash will be used partly for an annual buyback policy, Carrefour said, as well as a dividend paid each year, rising at least 5% annually. The company could also consider medium-sized acquisitions in the markets where it operates.

Write to Joshua Kirby at; @joshualeokirby

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