Duesseldorf, 20 October 2014. According to preliminary and unaudited figures, METRO GROUP increased its sales by 1.3% in financial year 2013/14 adjusted for portfolio and currency effects. The company's like-for-like sales also rose slightly by 0.1%, compared with -1.3% in the previous year. In generating this gain, the Düsseldorf-based retailing company achieved its sales target for the entire financial year. In Q4 2013/14, like-for-like sales even increased by 0.7%. "We succeeded in improving our like-for-like sales in recent quarters", said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. "During Q4 in particular, we saw a strong trend improvement and increased like-for-like sales in every sales line. This is a clear reflection of our successful strategic transformation, a process we continued to energetically implement during this quarter. On the basis of our performance, we also confirm our outlook for EBIT before special items1. In addition, with these positive results we have further strengthened our financial power."
Reported sales of METRO GROUP totalled €63.0 billion in financial year 2013/14. Adjusted for the disposal of company operations - particularly Real's complete Eastern European business - sales declined by 1.1% compared with last year. Furthermore, exchange rates moved in a particularly negative direction during financial year 2013/14. Added together, portfolio and currency effects caused sales to fall by 4.0%. But adjusted for the portfolio changes and exchange rate developments, sales of METRO GROUP rose sharply by 1.8% in Q4. Reported sales in Q4 totalled €15.1 billion (Q4 2012/13: €15.5 billion).
During Q4 2013/14, METRO GROUP extensively expanded its business operations in the strategic growth areas of multichannel retailing, delivery, franchise activities and own brands. In the process, it solidified its market position and raised its level of relevance to customers in many countries. With Christmas approaching, METRO GROUP is well prepared and optimistically entered the current quarter.
METRO GROUP also has made further progress in its work to optimise its portfolio: the company expects the agreement to sell its wholesale business in Vietnam to take effect during the first half of 2015. The company also generated a considerable profit when it sold its stake in the British wholesale company Booker. Both steps will serve to reduce the company's net debt and also create additional flexibility for further expansion in Eastern Europe and Asia as well as for investments in the transformation of its sales lines. In addition, METRO GROUP announced in October 2014 that METRO Cash & Carry would withdraw from Denmark.
Details and all figures can be found in the complete press release.
1 €1,750 million provided that exchange rates remain constant.