French hypermarket chain Carrefour has posted 0.9% increase in sales to €43.7bn in the first half (H1) of this fiscal year, driven by growth in emerging markets, notably in Latin America, where sales rose by 5.3%.

On a like-for-like basis, including petrol, group sales grew 0.4% at constant exchange rate in the first six months of 2012.

Group sales were down marginally by 0.3% to €21.7bn in the second quarter of 2012, compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

Sales in Europe, excluding France, decreased 3.5% to €5.8bn in the quarter impacted by a depressed consumption environment in Southern Europe.

In France, sales fell 2.1% in the reporting quarter, impacted by a fall in non-food sales, notably for seasonal goods.

Carrefour, however, said that all countries posted a satisfactory performance vis-à-vis its expectations given the increased pressure on consumption and discretionary spending.

Belgium recorded a 0.8% growth in like-for-like sales, building on the 7.1% gain recorded in the second quarter of 2011.

Combined sales in Poland, Turkey and Romania, excluding petrol, grew 4.7% at constant exchange rates and were flat on a like-for-like basis.

The retail major said sales trends at hypermarkets and supermarkets were in line with the expected effects of the action plan.

Sales in Latin America were up by 2.7% in the second quarter, with Atacadao’s continued growth in Brazil.

The company said sales of other countries increased 12.5% during the quarter, supported by Argentina.

Second quarter sales in Asia jumped 14%, while excluding currency effects, sales were up by 1.8% in the quarter.

Carrefour had opened or acquired nearly 163,000m² of retail space in the second quarter, taking the total addition of new space since the beginning of 2012 to to 237,000m².

The retail chain, in the same period, had opened or acquired 287 stores, taking the total number of new stores since the beginning of 2012 to 419 on a gross basis.