Metro Group reports record sales and earnings for 2008
Metro Group closed the financial year 2008 with record sales and earnings. Its sales increased by 5.8% to EUR68.0 billion (USD99.5 billion). Adjusted by negative currency effects, group sales grew by 6.1% year-on-year. In Germany, Metro Group sales grew by 2.0% to EUR26.7 billion (USD39.1 billion) in 2008. Internationally, Group sales rose by 8.4% to EUR41.3 billion (USD60.4 billion). The international share of sales increased to 60.8%. In Western Europe, Group sales went up by 2.2% to EUR21.0 billion (USD30.7 billion). Eastern Europe again reported a dynamic growth with sales rising 15.3% to EUR18.1 billion (USD26.5 billion). In Asia/Africa, Metro Group generated a plus in sales of 18.6% to EUR2.2 billion (USD3.2 billion). EBIT before special items grew by 7.1% to EUR2.2 billion (USD3.2 billion). Metro Group increased its capital expenditure by 12% to EUR2.5 billion (USD3.7 billion) in the past year. The major part of these investments was used for the continued international expansion of the growth drivers Metro Cash & Carry as well as Media Markt and Saturn. In total, 124 new stores were opened, thereof 40 Metro Cash & Carry wholesale stores, 14 Real hypermarkets and 70 Media Markt and Saturn consumer electronics centres.Metro Cash & Carry consolidated its position as world market leader in self-service wholesale in 2008. The division stepped up sales by 4.6% to EUR33.1 billion (USD48.4 billion). Metro Cash & Carry EBIT increased by 6.8% to EUR1.3 billion (USD1.9 billion), showing a greater rise than sales. Sales of Real rose by 5.8% to EUR11.6 billion (USD17.0 billion). This rise is based on both distinctly improved development in Germany as well as the continued expansion in Eastern Europe. EBIT excluding special items grew by EUR37 million (USD54.1 million) to EUR21 billion (USD 30.7 billion). This result puts Real back in the black. The consumer electronics stores of the Media-Saturn-Holding saw sales rise by 8.9% to EUR19.0 billion (USD27.8 billion). Media Markt and Saturn thereby further extending their lead in the European consumer electronics segment. The share of international sales in total sales reached 54.3%, an increase on the 52.8% reported one year earlier. EBIT came in at EUR603 million (USD882 million), following EUR610 million (USD893 million) last year. Major expenses for the strong expansion as well as a drop in earnings in Western Europe – especially in Spain – could be largely compensated with higher earnings in Germany and Eastern Europe. Galeria Kaufhof came in at EUR3.5 billion (USD5.1 billion), 1.1% below the previous year. In the strategically important textiles segment Galeria Kaufhof developed better than the market average. With the consistent implementation of its trading-up strategy, Galeria Kaufhof managed to raise EBIT for the fourth consecutive year: EBIT increased by 5.8% to EUR113 million (USD165 million). This is something that only very few companies have been able to achieve", said Dr Eckhard Cordes, CEO of Metro Group. With the recently launched value-enhancing programme "Shape 2012", Metro Group has laid the foundation to ensure its profitable growth in the long term. www.planetretail.net
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