August 11, 2017 / 5:32 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Carrefour Brasil sees competitive prices helping market share

(Adds details on results, comments throughout)

SAO PAULO, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Grupo Carrefour Brasil SA, the local unit of France’s Carrefour SA, will aim to maintain some equilibrium between price competitiveness and healthy margins to gain market share amid a slow economic recovery, executives said on Friday.

Carrefour Brasil continued to gain participation in the segments of cash and carry, hypermarkets and convenience stores over the first half, Chief Executive Officer Charles Desmartis said in a conference call to discuss second-quarter results.

Its geographical footprint is providing Brazil’s largest diversified retailer some cushion against heightening competition and the impact of a record recession, Desmartis said. Food inflation has somewhat affected margins and has had little impact on sales volumes, he and other executives added.

In terms of the outlook for the recovery, Desmartis said he has not seen “any material change in economic conditions” over the past weeks. Economists have cut their estimates for economic growth this year in the light of mounting political uncertainty.

Carrefour Brasil, which went public last month in Brazil’s largest initial public offering in four years, earned 279 million reais ($88 million) in profit last quarter - up 9.9 percent from the year-ago period.

Net sales rose 8.8 percent as non-food segments helped stem faltering demand for foods and the impact of slowing inflation on pricing. While net financial expenses rose 21 percent, taxes dropped 40 percent, propping up results.

Executives will continue to assess the impact of a recent Supreme Federal Court decision on the PIS-Cofins levy on financial statements of prior years, Chief Financial Officer Sébastien Durchon said in the call.

The court ordered companies to exclude them from the base of calculation of a state levy on consumption known as ICMS.

$1 = 3.1567 reais Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler

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