by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) March 13, 2012
French supermarket giant Auchan said on Tuesday its net profit for 2011 rose by 14.9 percent to 810 million euros ($1.06 billion), largely owing to a restructuring of its business in China.
Auchan said the profit was helped by a 355-million-euro capital gain generated by its partnership operated by Auchan and Chinese group Ruentex.
The French group said profit for the year would have dropped by 9.0 percent without the exceptional item.
Auchan's said consolidated sales rose in 2011 by 4.4 percent to 44.4 billion euros, with 55-percent of sales being made outside France.
In a statement, the company said that sales growth occurred mainly in new markets, such as Russia and China.
In the eurozone, "our clients are suffering from the effects of the crisis and austerity plans intended to resolve debt problems," said chief financial officer Xavier de Mezerac at a news conference.
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World breakthrough on salt-tolerant wheat
Adelaide, Australia (SPX) Mar 13, 2012
A team of Australian scientists has bred salt tolerance into a variety of durum wheat that shows improved grain yield by 25% on salty soils. Using 'non-GM' crop breeding techniques, scientists from CSIRO Plant Industry have introduced a salt-tolerant gene into a commercial durum wheat, with spectacular results shown in field tests. Researchers at the University of Adelaide's Waite Research ... read more
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