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Moody's changes Carrefour outlook to negative

Moody's on March 14 revised its outlook on Carrefour SA to negative from stable, citing the French food retailer's need for additional restructuring measures to restore its earnings and market shares.

The rating agency said Carrefour should implement more restructuring strategies as operating challenges grow for the French food retailing industry. The outlook change also takes into account Moody's view that Carrefour's leverage will remain high since restructuring costs and price investments will limit profitability.

Meanwhile, Moody's affirmed Carrefour's senior unsecured medium-term notes program at Baa1 and its other short term program at P-2.

Carrefour already has a strategic plan called Carrefour 2022 in place, under which the retailer aims to spend €2 billion annually to improve productivity and competitiveness, among other initiatives.

Moody's outlook revision came two weeks after Carrefour disclosed its plan to boost its cost-savings target by 40% as it reported net income for full year 2018 that beat analysts' estimates.