Metro Group is off to a satisfactory start to the year, with Q1 sales hitting forecast at €17bn.
Sales up 0.1% on a like-for-like basis
For the first three months of the 2017 financial year, reported sales were down 0.6%, or -0.4% in constant currency terms. However, this was due in part to the sale of the Cash & Carry unit in Vietnam, meaning like-for-like sales were up 0.1%, hitting the forecast for the start of the year.
Cash & Carry sales up
Like-for-like sales of the Cash & Carry business were up 0.7%, with the group doing well in Spain, Turkey and China. Overall sales were down 0.3% to €8bn (-0.1% constant currency), driven by the sale of the Cash & Carry Vietnam business. Sales were also impacted by declining performance in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, due to the ongoing transformation in these countries and the challenging market conditions. The delivery business continued to develop successfully and saw an increase in the percentage of sales it is responsible for.
Media-Saturn sales flat
The electronics division, which will be split from the Cash & Carry business this year, saw flat sales of €6.9bn (+0.3% constant currency), with like-for-like sales flat. December in particular was impacted by the reduced sales concentration at Christmas, with Black Friday bringing forward many purchases. Online sales grew by more than 25% and the pick up service drove most of this growth.
Real still struggling in Germany
Despite positive signs from the new Real market hall concept, Real's sales continued to drop, down 4% to €2.1bn, with a weak start into the Christmas quarter, but positive sales of non-food and a rise in online sales. Some of the sales decline was due to store closures, with like-for-like sales only down 1.7%. Food sales have been more impacted by the intense competitive environment, but with a focus on rolling out some elements of the new concept store to the hypermarket estate, the increased focus on fresh should help to combat this.