BERLIN — With improved like-for-like sales in all divisions in the fourth quarter and a slight increase in like-for-like sales for fiscal 2013/14, the Metro Group met its full-year sales target and confirmed its EBIT guidance for the year.
The German cash & carry, department store, hypermarket and electronics retail group reported sales declined 2.6 percent to 15.1 billion euros, or $20.04 billion, for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, 2014.
Like-for-like sales increased by 0.7 percent, while sales adjusted for portfolio and currency effects saw a rise of 1.8 percent in the quarter.
For the full year, sales reached 63 billion euros, or $85.52 billion, down 4 percent from the previous year, but on a like-for-like basis rose 0.1 percent, compared to a decrease of 1.3 percent in fiscal 2012/13. Adjusted for portfolio changes, which included the disposal of the Real Supermarket division’s complete Eastern European business, group sales were down 1.1 percent. When adjusted for both portfolio and exchange rate fluctuations, sales rose by 1.8 percent.
Dollar figures are converted at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
No earnings figures were released , but Metro reconfirmed its EBIT before special items target of around 1.75 billion euros, or $2.23 billion at current exchange, provided exchange rates remain constant. Final figures for the year are to be released Dec. 16, 2014.
The core Metro Cash & Carry division grew like-for-like sales in Q4 0.1 percent to 7.6 billion euros, or $10.1 billion, with like-for-like sales gaining 1 percent to reach 30.5 billion euros, or $41.4 billion for the full year. On a nominal basis, sales for both the quarter and full year were down 2.1 percent, reflecting portfolio adjustments and negative currency effects. In local currency, in contrast, sales rose 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter and 2 percent for the year.
The Galeria Kaufhof department store division again increased quarterly sales. On both a nominal and like-for-like basis, sales rose 1.2 percent to 700 million euros or $928.8 million. For the full year, sales hit 3.1 billion, or $4.21 billion, a nominal and like-for-like gain of 0.5 percent.
The retailer said its Christmas business has gotten off to a confident start. As previously reported, several portfolio changes are to be expected in 2015, including the sale of the group’s wholesale business in Vietnam, and the withdrawal of Metro Cash & Carry in Denmark, where it operated five stores.