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Metro Group reports sales growth of 5.9%

The Metro Group has reported that its sales grew by 5.9% to EUR68 billion (USD91 billion) over the 2008 financial year. Sales in Germany grew by 2% with international sales showing an increase of 8.5%. Eastern European sales rose significantly by 15.3% to EUR18.1 billion (USD24.32 billion) in 2008. However, growth did not reach expected levels of more than 6%. The company attributed this to the strength of the euro as its operations in Eastern Europe, the UK, Asia and Africa are producing lower sales when translated into euros. Metro Group CEO Eckhard Cordes said that 2009 would be a difficult year as customers will think twice, where and for what they spend their money. As a result the capex budget was reduced to EUR1.6 billion (USD2.15 billion). Cordes said: “By doing so we are creating additional entrepreneurial flexibility. Therefore, I am convinced that in 2009 we will continue to strengthen our competitive position.” Sales of food and non-food items also fell. The company said sales in the fourth quarter, which includes the key Christmas trading period, rose 3% to EUR20.1 billion (USD27.01 billion), from EUR19.5 billion (USD26.2 billion) a year earlier, below expectations for a 3.3% rise to EUR20.19 billion (USD27.13 billion).



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