BERLIN — Burdened by special items totalling 616 million euros, or $792.2 million, the Metro Group said 2012 net profits declined 26.8 percent to 717 million euros, or $922.1 million.
The special items primarily relate to the streamlining of the group’s portfolio, and include restructuring expenses, goodwill and other impairments connected to the sale of Makro Cash & Carry in the U.K., the termination of Media Markt’s business in China, and effects from the sale of Real’s Eastern European business.
Operating profits (EBIT) before special items for the German cash & carry, department store, hypermarket and electronics retail group decreased 16.7 percent to 1.98 billion euros, or $2.55 billion.
Dollar figures are converted from the euro at an average exchange rate for the period.
Group sales rose 1.2 percent in 2012 to 66.74 billion euros, or $85.83 billion. In local currencies, sales rose 0.8 percent, though when adjusted for the divestments of Makro in the U.K. and Media-Saturn in France, group sales were up 2.3 percent, the group pointed out.
The core Metro Cash & Carry division saw EBIT before special items slide 17.5 percent to 947 million euros, or $1.22 billion. Sales rose 1.7 percent to 31.64 billion euros, or $40.69 billion.
The Kaufhof Galeria department store division outperformed the rest of the group in earnings, posting a 12.4 percent increase in EBIT before special items to 136 million euros, or $174.9 million. Sales declined 0.9 percent to 3.09 billion, or $3.97 billion, impacted by adverse weather conditions in the fourth quarter, as well as the conversion of the stores’ consumer electronics departments.
Metro has changed its fiscal year to Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. For the balance of the 2013 financial year, the group is forecasting EBIT before special items will increase compared to the nine-month period in 2012, supported by higher income from the sale of real estate assets.