French supermarket operator Carrefour has reported underlying operating profit of EUR3.4bn (US$5.2bn) for 2007, a rise of 3.3% on the year.

The world's second-largest retailer saw underlying net profit rise 0.7% to EUR1.9bn on sales up 6.8% at EUR82.2bn.

The results came as Carrefour predicted a "breakthrough" year for the company in 2008.

The retailer said it had achieved its objectives in 2007 in spite of a "fierce competitive environment" in Europe and against the backdrop of deflation in France in the first three quarters of the year.

Looking ahead, the retailer said 2008 would be a "breakthrough year".

"In 2008 we are ready for a breakthrough year during which faster sales growth will translate into even faster profits growth together with a corresponding increase in return on capital employed," the company said.

Carrefour added that it was expecting sales growth of 6% to 8% - excluding acquisitions - in 2008.