Carrefour may exit Turkey, exec says
PARIS - ReutersCarrefour Chief Executive Georges Plassat told shareholders yesterday that he will look at whether to exit some markets including Turkey because cash is tight and needs three years to turn around Europe’s largest retailer.
Plassat warned that Carrefour would need to reduce debt and cut overheads while restoring power to local managers, adding that it might exit Turkey or Indonesia, having just pulled out Greece, where demand has plunged because of a debt crisis.
“For 15 years the group has been racing after the cash necessary for its development. We need to restore the group’s financial capacity in order to develop it.”
This means that the company will not be able to fight every battle on every front, he added. “We are not necessarily better placed in Turkey than our Turkish partners. We also do not necessarily need to be 100 percent in Indonesia,”
“It will take three years to relaunch the engine. You need three years to achieve anything that is solid.”
Plassat joined the world’s second-largest retailer in April with a brief to reverse years of underperformance in European markets.
Plassat said on Monday that he found Carrefour in a “state of shock”, reeling from excess centralization, a group that had cut itself off from the outside world. Carrefour does not plan to exit Braziland in China, Plassat said. France, which accounts for 40 percent of group sales, remains a key market where Carrefour will fight for market share.