BERLIN — In preliminary figures released today, the Metro Group reported a 2.1 percent decline in third-quarter sales and a 2.2 percent slip in sales for its shortened financial year, ending Sept. 30.

Sales for the quarter reached 15.5 billion euros, or $20.53 billion, whereas sales for the nine months to Sept. 30 hit 46.3 billion euros, or $60.98 billion. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at an average exchange rate for the periods in question.

The cash & carry, department store, hypermarket and electronics retail group noted that adjusted for currency effects and portfolio changes, sales grew 1.8 percent in the quarter, and 0.9 percent in the shortened financial year.

“We met our sales target and can confirm our EBIT guidance,” said Olaf Koch,  chairman of the Metro AG management. The group expects EBIT before special items to slightly exceed 2012’s level of 706 million euros.

Koch added the group is “confident for the upcoming Christmas trading period,” and cited  positive like-for-like sales growth of 1 percent in the third quarter in Germany.

Third-quarter sales for the core Metro Cash & Carry division were flat at 7.8 billion euros, or $10.33 billion, and dropped 2 percent in the nine months to 22.6 billion, or $29.77 billion.

Sales at the Galeria Kaufhof department stores were flat for both the third quarter and shortened financial year, but on a like-for-like basis, sales grew 1.1 percent in Q3. Third-quarter sales reached 700 million euros, or $927.3 million.

Complete fiscal 2013 results are to be released Dec. 12.

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