Metro Group has reported sales growth of 1.2% to €66.7bn for the full year 2012, delivering earnings in line with its revised guidance of €2bn.
Christmas trading "satisfactory"
Q4 saw a slow start to Christmas trading, but momentum gained towards the end of the year and Metro has described the result as "satisfactory", particularly at Media-Saturn which saw sales grow by 1.3% during the period. Across the group sales grew by 0.5% in the 12 weeks to the end of December, reaching €19.4bn. Adjusting for the disposal of the Makro business in the UK and Media-Saturn in France, total sales growth for the year was 2.3%. CEO Olaf Koch commented: "We have made significant progress in a difficult year... Upon this foundation, we shall continue to build."
Mixed performance at home
While international sales were up 1.6% in 2012 (+3.4% adjusted for disposals), Metro saw mixed results across divisions in its domestic market, Germany. Cash & Carry sales fell as a result of store closures at the end of 2011 and weaker non-food sales. Real sales improved slightly on the year, despite store disposals. The hypermarket division benefited from higher demand for groceries in the run up to Christmas and the success of its "Real Deal" campaign which ran throughout October. Electronics business Media-Saturn delivered like-for-like growth for the first time since 2009, bolstered by the acquisition of online retailer Redcoon.
Record openings for Cash & Carry
Metro Cash & Carry performed well year on year, with sales growing 1.6% to reach €31.6bn. The sale of Makro operations in the UK had a significant impact on this growth and adjusted sales grew by 3.2%. While sales in Germany and Southern Europe struggled against the economic climate, Eastern European sales rose significantly, particularly in Russia. Meanwhile Cash & Carry operations in Asia and Africa delivered double digit sales growth. Metro opened 46 new Cash & Carry stores in 2012, including 12 stores in China, which is the highest number of new stores in its history. The group also confirmed the decision to cease Media-Saturn operations in China.
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Metro is due to release full details of 2012 performance on 20th March 2013.