With like-for-like sales growth of 2.5%, METRO GROUP continued the positive trend in its operating business during the second quarter of the financial year 2014/15. In spite of very negative currency effects, reported group sales also increased by 0.3%. At €-40 million, EBIT before special items was unchanged from previous years's. Adjusted for currency effects, EBIT before special items rose significantly compared with the previous year. With like-for-like sales growth of 2.2%, the group's business also developed favourably during the first half of 2014/15, supported by the earlier Easter business compared with the previous year. "The rigorous realignment of our sales lines and our successful efforts to tap new retail channels and formats are increasingly paying off, particularly at METRO Cash & Carry and Media-Saturn. Both sales divisions are now experiencing sustained positive like-for-like sales growth," said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. "Real Germany also enjoyed a positive like-for-like sales trend. This shows that we are on the right track with our investments in the modernisation of the company and new concepts".
METRO GROUP's online retail and delivery businesses continued to gain momentum during the first half of 2014/15: Delivery sales grew by 10.5% to €1.4 billion (H1 2013/14: €1.3 billion). In Q2 2014/15, delivery sales also rose sharply by 10.2% to €0.7 billion. During the first half of 2014/15, METRO GROUP's online sales totalled €1.0 billion, an increase of about 27% compared with the previous year's period. Online sales also grew substantially during the second quarter of 2014/15, rising by 23% to €0.5 billion.
Adjusted for currency effects and portfolio changes, METRO GROUP posted sales growth of 2.8% during the first half of 2014/15 (1 October 2014 to 31 March 2015) compared with the previous year's period. With €32,7 billion reported sales came in slightly below previous year's level. This is due mostly to the disposal of Real in Eastern Europe as well as to significant negative currency effects in large parts of Eastern Europe, particularly Russia and Ukraine. On a like-for-like basis, sales increased markedly by 2.2%. In the second quarter (1 January to 31 March 2015), sales adjusted for currency effects and portfolio changes grew by 3.2%. Despite high negative currency effects, reported sales increased by 0.3% to €14.4 billion. Like-for-like sales in-creased by 2.5%, the strongest gain in 7 years. This positive development was supported by the earlier Easter business compared with the previous year.
In Germany, sales increased by 0.9% to €13.6 billion during the first half of 2014/15. During the second quarter, the strong development at Media-Saturn had a particularly positive effect on sales, which increased by 1.8%. The earlier Easter business also contributed to this development. International sales fell by 2.5% to €19.1 billion in H1 2014/15, due mostly to exchange rate developments. In spite of negative portfolio effects, currency-adjusted sales increased by 1.2%. Sales declined slightly by 0.8% in the second quarter, but increased by 2.0% in local currency.
In Western Europe (excluding Germany), sales rose by 1.0% to €10.0 billion in H1 2014/15. This is due to positive developments at Media-Saturn. In Q2 2014/15, sales climbed by 0.9%. In Eastern Europe, sales declined by 11.9% to €6.9 billion in H1 2014/15. The decrease primarily resulted from distinctly negative currency effects and the disposal of Real in Eastern Europe. Currency-adjusted sales increased by 0.6%. Sales fell by 11.3% in the second quarter of 2014/15, while sales in local currency increased by 2.7%. Sales in Asia/Africa grew markedly by 18.0% to €2.2 billion, supported by positive currency effects besides favourable operational developments. Measured in local currency, sales rose by 4.6%. On the back of stronger momentum, sales rose by 24.2% in Q2 2014/15 (in local currency: +6.0%).
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