BERLIN — On the back of a good Christmas season and buoyed by proceeds from the sale of its Cash & Carry business in Vietnam, Metro Group booked strong gains in reported earnings before interest and taxes and net profit before special items for the first quarter of fiscal 2015-16.
In final figures released today, the German Cash & Carry, electronics and supermarket retailer reported profit before special items rose 30 percent to reach 597 million euros, or $654.1 million, for the three months ended Dec. 31. Profit for the period excluding special items slipped 16.8 percent to 417 million euros, or $456.9 million.
Dollar figures are converted at an average exchange rate for the period to which they refer.
EBIT, which included income of 427 million euros, or $467.8 million, from the Vietnamese sale, surged 29.4 percent to 1.24 billion euros, or 1.36 billion. EBIT before special items, dented by exchange rate losses related to the ruble, declined 7 percent to 828 million euros, or $907.3 million.
Group sales for the quarter slipped 1.3 percent to 17.09 billion euros, or $18.73 billion, due to negative exchange rates and portfolio effects. Domestic sales gained 5 percent, and Metro noted like-for-like group sales were up 0.1 percent.
The group also said it made significant progress in reducing debit, with net debt for the period falling to 100 million euros, or $109.6 million, compared to 1.5 billion euros, or $1.87 billion, for the quarter a year previously. This was the lowest net debt recorded in the group’s history.
For the full 2015-16 fiscal year, Metro is continuing to forecast a slight increase in overall and like-for-like sales, despite ongoing challenges in the economic environment. EBIT before special items is expected to rise slightly above 2014-15 levels, including income from real estate sales.