French retailer Carrefour and Dutch grocer Ahold posted resilient third-quarter trading updates.

Carrefour reported sales climbed 3.5 per cent in France and jumped 15.8 per cent at constant exchange rates at its international arm.

The hypermarket and food group said there had been an upturn in hypermarket sales in France – up 2.1 per cent like for like – and it is on track to reach this year’s objective of sales growth of 7 per cent at constant exchange rates.

Bernstein analyst Christopher Hogbin said the update should reassure investors concerned about Carrefour’s ability to meet its full-year targets. He said: “The highlight of the trading statement was the improvement in sales trends at Carrefour’s French hypermarkets, suggesting that the step-up in promotional activity initiated in July is having a positive impact already.”

Ahold reported net sales of €5.8 billion (£4.7 billion) for the third quarter – an increase of 3.9 per cent and 7.6 per cent at constant exchange rates.

Hogbin said: “Ahold’s third quarter trading update provided some evidence that the value improvement programme is working in the US business.” But he warned: “The good news from Ahold’s US business is tempered somewhat by a sharp slowdown in the underlying growth rate of the Dutch business, with like-for-like ex-fuel growth slowing from 11.8 per cent in the second quarter to 8.3 per cent in the third.”