BERLIN — Metro Group’s net profit surged almost 300 percent in fiscal 2014-15, plumped by special items relating to the sale of the Galeria Kaufhof department-store chain to Hudson’s Bay Co. in June 2014.
In final figures released Tuesday for the year ending Sept. 30, 2015, the German cash and carry, electronics and supermarket group reported a net profit after special items of 714 million euros, or $820 million, compared to 182 million euros, or $247 million, a year ago.
All dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the periods in question.
Before special items, which according to a Metro spokesman were primarily related to the Galeria divestment, net profit for the year rose 2.2 percent to 688 million euros, or $790.5 million, compared to 673 million euros, or $764.3 million, in fiscal 2013-14.
As of the third quarter, reported and like-for-like figures no longer include the Galeria Kaufhof business.
Group earnings before interest and taxes before special items slipped 1.3 percent to 1.51 billion euros, or $1.74 billion, down from 1.53 billion euros, which reflected negative exchange rates effects of 117 million euros, or $134.4 million. Metro pointed out that the group exceeded the comparable previous year’s EBIT figure of 1.41 billion euros adjusted for currency effects, meeting its earnings forecast.
Final figures showed group sales in the full year slipped 1.2 percent to 59.21 billion euros, or $68.07 billion, while like-for-like sales in local currency were up 1.5 percent, meeting the group’s target.
For the year ahead, Metro is forecasting another slight increase in currency-adjusted sales in line with the 1.5 percent gain booked in fiscal 2014-15. The core Metro Cash & Carry division, as well as the electronics retail chains Media-Saturn, are expected to contribute to both total sales and like-for-like gains, while Metro is looking for an improvement in the Real Supermarket chain’s sales in the year to come.
Despite what the group termed the “persistently challenging economic environment,” EBIT before special items is forecast to rise slightly above the past year’s figures, supported by operational improvements, efficient structures and strict cost management.
Metro is said to be pursuing an investment strategy, with the 1.75 billion euros gained in the Galeria Kaufhof sale earmarked not only to scale down debts, but to power investments in e-commerce as well as sprucing up the existing 2,000 Metro stores.