International retail giant Carrefour has reported “stable” sales of €22.7bn for the first quarter of this year.

Carrefour, which runs shops from China to Latin America as well as in Europe, said it had made a “tangible gain” in market share in its French domestic market but performance overseas was mixed.

French hypermarkets were “resilient” the retailer said, thanks to promotions and the Carrefour Market supermarket fascia, to which Champion stores are being converted, put in “strong performances”.

Although sales rose 14.4 per cent in South America, there was a slowdown in China where growth was 3.1 per cent. Sales in Spain fell 5.6 per cent.

Carrefour chief executive Lars Olofsson said trading conditions remain tough but he will continue to win market share.

He said: “The measures we have initiated to transform our way of operating and reduce our costs will produce their effects mainly in the second half of the year.

“Carrefour teams are working on implementing the strategic guidelines we have defined in order to significantly improve the group’s performance.”

Bernstein analyst Chris Hogbin said Carrefour’s first quarter sales performance was slightly below expectations but welcomed signs of stabilisation in France.