By  on July 31, 2012

BERLIN — The Metro Group remained in the red in the second quarter of 2012, posting a net loss of 20 million euros, or $25.7 million, compared with net profits of 40 million euros, or $57.6 million, in the same prior-year period.

Special items (non-recurring restructuring and portfolio measures) pushed earnings before interest and taxes down 74 percent to 70 million euros, or $90 million, against 267 million euros, or $384.2 million, in second-quarter 2011. Before special items, EBIT at the German cash and carry, department store, hypermarket and electronics retail group rose 2.5 percent to 314 million euros, or $403.5 million.

Despite a shorter Easter business period, Metro grew second-quarter sales 1.8 percent to 15.8 billion euros, or $20.3 billion.
   
All dollar figures are converted from the euro at the average exchange rate for the period to which they refer.    

The company’s core Metro Cash & Carry division reported a 71.7 percent decline in EBIT to 69 million euros, or $88.7 million. Before special items, EBIT was down 6.1 percent. Second-quarter sales reached 7.95 billion euros, or $10.22 billion, a 1.4 percent gain. Adjusted for currency effects, revenues at the 747-door chain, which operates in 30 countries, were up 0.4 percent.

The Galeria Kaufhof department stores generated a positive EBIT of 1 million euros, or $1.3 million, compared with a loss of 15 million euros, or $21.6 million, in the same prior-year period. Sales, however, declined 2.3 percent to 686 million euros, or $881.6 million, impacted by the shorter Easter business period and unfavorable weather conditions.

In the first half of 2012, Metro posted a net loss of 103 million euros, or $133.7 million, compared with net profits of 37 million euros, or $51.9 million, in the same prior-year period. Group EBIT dropped 85 percent to 61 million euros, or $79.2 million. Before special items, EBIT was down 32 percent to 305 million euros, or $395.9 million. Group sales for the six-month period grew 2 percent to 31.49 billion euros, or $40.88 billion.

Looking ahead, Metro said it expects sales to rise in the full year, but noted that ongoing economic insecurity and price increases are to have a negative impact on revenues. Metro said economic conditions will dampen the group's earnings development, but it continues to expect EBIT before special items to roughly match 2011's results, which were 2.37 billion euros, or $3.3 billion, before special items.

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