Metro Group's fiscal Q1 earnings grew to €514M from €129M a year ago as sales fell 3.3% to €18.7B; delivery sales rose 17.5% to €700M, while online sales rose 47.2% to €400M

DUSSELDORF, Germany , February 11, 2014 (press release) –

  • EBIT before special items totals €1,073 million (Q1 2012/13: €1,273 million);
    EBIT climbs to €1,094 million (Q1 2012/13: €985 million)
  • Net profit for the period reaches €514 million (Q1 2012/13: €129 million)
  • Earnings per share rise to €1.38 (Q1 2012/13: €0.11)
  • Sales adjusted for currency and portfolio effects increase by 1.1%;
    like-for-like sales almost on previous year's level
  • Negative exchange-rate effects hurt international sales
  • Earnings forecast: EBIT before special items of around €1,750 million expected
During the first quarter of financial year 2013/14, METRO GROUP markedly boosted its EBIT to €1,094 million from €985 million in Q1 2012/13. EBIT before special items finished the period under review at €1,073 million and, as forecast, below the level for the previous year's period (€1,273 million) mainly due to lower real estate income. Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, group sales rose by 1.1%.

"As expected, we generated more than half of our targeted full year EBIT in the important first quarter", said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board at METRO AG. "With this achievement, we have set a solid foundation for reaching our FY 2013/14 guidance and for successfully continuing METRO GROUP's transformation. Already today, we see a clear trend improvement in the like-for-like sales development and our important growth drivers - online and delivery sales - are growing dynamically. On the back of this, I am very confident that our progress in the coming quarters will be reflected in both our like-for-like sales development and our earnings."
 
In a persistently challenging economic environment, METRO GROUP generated sales of €18.7 billion during the first quarter of 2013/14 that covered the period of October through December 2013 (Q1 2012/13: €19.4 billion). The 3.3% decline resulted largely from currency effects and portfolio changes that have been completed and announced (Real Eastern Europe: Russia, Romania and Ukraine as well as Media Markt China). In local currency terms, however, METRO GROUP's sales were just 1.4% below the previous year's level. Sales adjusted for currency and portfolio effects rose by 1.1%. Sales produced by own brands, online retailing and the delivery business continued to grow: delivery sales shot up by 17.5% to
€0.7 billion. The sales share of own brands rose to 10.6% compared with 10.5% in the previous year's quarter. In Q1 2013/14, METRO GROUP generated online sales of €0.4 billion, up 47.2% on the previous year's quarter. 

Sales and earnings development at METRO GROUP

In Germany, sales generated by METRO GROUP dipped by 1.0% in the first quarter of 2013/14 and totalled €7.7 billion. As a result of portfolio effects and strong currency impacts, sales produced by the company's international business operations declined by 4.9% to €11.0 billion compared with the previous year's level. Adjusted for portfolio changes, sales generated by international business operations decreased by only 0.9%. In local currency terms, portfolio-adjusted sales rose by 2.8%. The international share of sales decreased from 59.8% to 58.8%. In Western Europe (excluding Germany), sales produced in the first quarter of 2013/14 increased slightly by 0.1% to €5.5 billion (in local currency: +0.2%). Following the divestment of Real's business operations in Russia, Romania and Ukraine, sales in Eastern Europe totalled €4.6 billion, 10.8% below the previous year's level. Adjusted for the portfolio changes, sales in local currency increased by 4.6%. The Asia/Africa region continues to be the fastest-growing region at METRO GROUP by far: In local currency terms, sales jumped by 7.0%. Adjusted for Media Markt’s withdrawal from China, sales even climbed by 11.3%. Sales measured in euros fell slightly by 1.1% during the first quarter of 2013/14 due solely to currency effects. 
METRO GROUP
Q1 2012/131
(€ million)
Q1 2013/14
(€ million)
Change (€)
Change (in local currency)
Sales
19,359
18,721
-3.3%
-1.4%
Germany
7,783
7,709
-1.0%
-1.0%
Western Europe
(excl. Germany)
5,528
5,531
0.1%
0.2%
Eastern Europe
5,169
4,611
-10.8%
-5.0%
Asia/Africa
879
870
-1.1%
7.0%
EBIT in Q1 2013/14 increased significantly to €1,094 million
(Q1 2012/13: €985 million).This figure includes positive special items of €21 million (Q1 2012/13: €-288 million). In the previous year's quarter, EBIT had been impacted by special items related to the disposal of Media Markt China and Real Eastern Europe. Mainly as a result of the lack of income from real estate sales and the loss of earnings contributions from Real Eastern Europe, EBIT before special items totalled €1,073 million compared with €1,273 million during the previous year's period. This figure also reflects negative currency effects resulting from the strong euro and the lower earnings of Media-Saturn. Earnings before taxes (EBT) rose during the first quarter of 2013/14 to €944 million (Q1 2012/13: €859 million). Before special items, earnings before taxes totalled €932 million
(Q1 2012/13: €1,147 million). Reported tax expenses of €430 million correspond to a group tax rate of 45.6%. Adjusted for the special items contained in earnings before taxes, the group tax rate was 46.1%. Net profit for the period improved during the first quarter of 2013/14, climbing from €129 million to €514 million.  
The increase resulted mainly from the lower tax rate. Earnings per share improved noticeably from €0.11 to €1.38. Adjusted for special items, earnings per share amounted to €1.35 (Q1 2012/13: €1.44). 
Net debt of METRO GROUP amounted to €2.4 billion on 31 December 2013, a drop of €0.8 billion compared with the total on 31 December 2012. 
Cash flow from operating activities amounted to €3.5 billion from October to December 2013 (Q1 2012/13: €4.4 billion). The decline of €0.9 billion is mainly related to the change in net working capital. 
Earnings of METRO GROUP (€ million)
Q1 2012/13
Q1 2013/14
EBIT before special items
1,273
1,073
Earnings before taxes (EBT) and special items
1,147
932
Net profid for the period before special items
565
503
Net profit for the period attributable to shareholders of METRO AG before special items
472
440
Earnings per share before special items in €
1.44
1.35
EBIT
985
1,094
Earnings before taxes (EBT)
859
944
Profit or loss for the period
129
514
Net profit for the period attributable to shareholders of METRO AG
36
451
Earnings per share in €
0.11
1.38

Outlook

For the financial year 2013/14, METRO GROUP expects to see a slight rise in overall sales in local currency - even though economic momentum will remain below average and adjusted for implemented and announced portfolio measures.  
In like-for-like sales, METRO GROUP expects to see a trend improvement following the previous year's level of -1.3% and a level of sales that will roughly equal the previous year’s level. In the financial year 2013/14, earnings developments will also be affected by continued below-average economic growth. As a result, the METRO GROUP will continue to closely focus on efficient structures and strict cost management in 2013/14. The announced changes in the real estate strategy will impact earnings. Last year, EBIT before special items of €2,000 million contained income from real estate sales that exceeded typical levels. In addition, the comparative base is reduced by the contributions from portfolio changes. Adjusted for these effects totalling about €300 million, the comparative level from the previous year is €1.7 billion. Despite a soft start experienced by the non-food business and strong negative currency effects, METRO GROUP expects an EBIT before special items of around €1,750 million in the financial year 2013/14. METRO GROUP expects that exchange rates and macroeconomic conditions will stabilise. 

METRO Cash & Carry

During the first quarter of 2013/14, sales of METRO Cash & Carry fell by 1.1% to €8.5 billion due to strong currency effects. Measured in local currency, though, sales jumped by 2.2%. Overall, METRO Cash & Carry performed well, generating like-for-like sales growth of 0.9%. The food business did particularly well. Sales generated by the delivery business remained very dynamic and jumped by 17.5% to €669 million (Q1 2012/13: €569 million). The sales share of own brands rose slightly from 16.2% to 16.3%. The financial year 2013/14 is a very special one for METRO Cash & Carry: it marks the wholesale expert's 50th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, METRO Cash & Carry is conducting a wide range of activities for its customers. Under the motto "50 Years Anniversary Weeks", METRO Cash & Carry in Germany for example is providing its customers with special offers throughout the anniversary year of 2014. An array of events and special promotions are also being planned. The anniversary is being used as an occasion to thank customers for their long-term loyalty and to celebrate with them and the sales line's staff. As part of the anniversary year, METRO Cash & Carry has also created an award called METRO Community Stars 2014: in 17 countries, METRO Cash & Carry has launched a search for entrepreneurs who have made an active contribution to quality of life in their neighbourhood through their exceptional commitment. The METRO Community Stars 2014 Award will express METRO Cash & Carry's gratitude for this work on behalf of local communities.  
During the first quarter of 2013/14, sales of METRO Cash & Carry in Germany decreased by 2.1% to €1.4 billion (like-for-like -2.1% as well) due to continuing difficulties in the non-food business. By contrast, food sales nearly reached the previous year's level. Overall, the first remodelled stores with attractive and focused non-food products generated above-average results. The mix of food products was also improved, and new international specialties were added to it. Sales of METRO Cash & Carry in Western Europe totalled €2.9 billion, at the same level as the previous year. In Eastern Europe, sales fell by 2.6% to €3.4 billion due to strong currency effects. In local currency terms, sales rose sharply by 3.9%. In like-for-like terms, sales also did extremely well, climbing by 2.1%. In addition to Poland and Turkey, Russia remained a business driver in Eastern Europe and produced strong growth rates. Sales of METRO Cash & Carry in Asia/Africa increased by 2.7% to €0.9 billion. In local currency terms, sales jumped by 11.4%. On a like-for-like basis, sales increased by 7.0%. The highest growth rates were achieved by China, India and Pakistan. 
During the first quarter of 2013/14, EBIT at METRO Cash & Carry came to
€536 million (Q1 2012/13: €605 million). This figure includes special items totalling €4 million (Q1 2012/13: €49 million), particularly those related to the closure of both stores in Egypt. During the first quarter of 2013/14, EBIT before special items amounted to €540 million (Q1 2012/13: €654 million). The decrease resulted largely from the real estate transaction in France contained in the results of the previous year's quarter. In addition, results were hurt by unfavourable exchange-rates. 
Metro Cash & Carry
Q1 2012/13 (€ million)
Q1 2013/14 (€ million)
Change (€)
Change in local currency
Like-for-like (in local currency)
Sales
8,606
8,508
-1.1%
2.2%
0.9%
Germany
1,393
1,363
-2.1%
-2.1%
-2.1%
Western Europe (excl. Germany)
2,918
2,916
-0.1%
-0.1%
-0.6%
Eastern Europe
3,450
3,360
-2.6%
3.9%
2.1%
Asia/Africa
845
868
2.7%
11.4%
7.0%
EBIT before special items
654
540
€-114 million
   

Media-Saturn

During the first quarter of 2013/14, Media-Saturn's sales slipped by 0.7% to
€6.6 billion due to exchange-rate development in Eastern Europe. Measured in local currency, sales rose by 0.4%. In like-for-like terms, sales at Media-Saturn also improved in comparison with recent quarters. Online sales continued to grow significantly, with sales rising by 46.5% to €0.4 billion in Q1 2013/14, accounting for 6.0% of total sales. Very strong multichannel sales and the pleasing development of Redcoon were a major factor in this growth.  
In Germany, sales produced by Media-Saturn in the first quarter of 2013/14 totalled €3.1 billion, the same high level reached in the previous year. Like-for-like sales slipped − due in part to a high basis for comparison. During Christmas trading, demand was particularly strong for smartphones, tablet computers and the new generation of game consoles. The sales line's multichannel offering remains very popular with customers. The online product range was expanded once again. At the end of 2013, it totalled more than 29,000 articles at Mediamarkt.de and nearly 25,000 at Saturn.de. At about 40%, the collection rate remained at a high level. In Western Europe, Media-Saturn produced a small gain of 0.3% in sales to a total of €2.6 billion. Measured in local currency, sales rose by 0.6%. Media-Saturn was able to further expand its market share in several countries. In Eastern Europe, sales fell during the first quarter of 2013/14 by 2.2% to €0.9 billion due to currency effects. Measured in local currency, sales rose sharply by 4.7%. High double-digit growth rates were generated in Hungary and Turkey.  
EBIT in Q1 2013/14 came to €292 million (Q1 2012/13: €238 million) and included positive special items of €3 million. EBIT before special items fell to €289 million
(Q1 2012/13: €332 million). This reflects lower advertising subsidies and sales related decrease in Germany and parts of Eastern Europe. 
Media-Saturn
Q1 2012/13 (€ million)
Q1 2013/14 (€ million)
Change (€)
Change (in local currency)
Like-for-like (in local currency)
Sales
6,648
6,601
-0.7%
0.4%
-1.0%
Germany
3,147
3,146
0.0%
0.0%
-1.2%
Western Europe (excl. Germany)
2,557
2,564
0.3%
0.6%
0.2%
Eastern Europe
912
891
-2.2%
4.7%
-3.7%
Asia/Africa
32
-
-
-
-
EBIT before special items
332
289
€-43 million
   

Real

During the first quarter of 2013/14, sales at Real decreased by 16.0% to €2.6 billion. The primary cause of this decline was the divestment of Real in Russia, Romania and Ukraine. In Germany, sales fell by 2.2% to €2.2 billion. In addition to a comparatively strong quarter in the previous year, this decline was due to persistently strong competition, particularly by discounters. In addition, prices were lowered in the food business. By contrast, the sales share of own brands grew, rising from 15.5% to 15.8%. In the first quarter of 2013/14, Real also introduced a new, own brand "without name". The new brand is below the entry-level price segment and is aimed at the ever-increasing demand for low-cost products. In total, customers can purchase 21 different Food and Non Food articles in all Real stores. The product range is set to be expanded and enhanced in line with customer demand. During the first quarter of 2013/14, sales at Real in
Eastern Europe decreased by 55.5%. The reason for this drop is that Real Ukraine, Real Russia and Real Romania have no longer been included in the consolidated financial statements of METRO GROUP since 1 March 2013, 1 April 2013 and
1 September 2013, respectively. With the conclusion of the divestment of Real Poland on 6 February 2014, the sale of Real Eastern Europe to Groupe Auchan has now been completed. Real Poland will be deconsolidated during the second quarter of 2013/14. The remaining business of Real in Turkey generated like-for-like growth in the first quarter of 2013/14. 
EBIT increased significantly to €121 million (Q1 2012/13: €32 million). This figure includes positive special items to the amount of €23 million. In the same quarter of the previous year, special items negatively impacted earnings to the amount of
€84 million. EBIT before special items decreased to €98 million
(Q1 2012/13: €116 million). Above all, the lack of earnings contributions from sold Real Eastern Europe activities had a particularly negative impact. Adjusted for this effect, EBIT before special items rose considerably. This is due, in particular, to higher provisions in previous year, to reduced costs and a decrease in advertising expenditures. 
Real
Q1 2012/13 (€ million)
Q1 2013 (€ million)
Change (€)
Change (in local currency)
Like-for-like (in local currency)
Sales
3,105
2,607
-16.0%
-15.7%
-2.0%
Germany
2,298
2,248
-2.2%
-2.2%
-2.1%
Eastern Europe
807
359
-55.5%
-54.7%
2.4%
EBIT before special items
116
98
€-18 million
   

Galeria Kaufhof

During the first quarter of 2013/14, sales at Galeria Kaufhof rose by 0.6% to
€1.0 billion. In like-for-like terms, the increase also totalled 0.6% − even though the textile business declined as a result of mild weather. In Germany, Galeria Kaufhof increased sales by 0.8% to €1 billion. Like-for-like sales also increased by 0.8%. The weather did indeed slow the business with textiles. But a strong hardware business led to overall satisfying results. Online sales of Galeria Kaufhof jumped by more than 80% during the first quarter of 2013/14. At sportarena.de, Galeria Kaufhof also opened the Sportarena Online Shop. The shop sells sporting apparel, equipment and accessories for such sports as football, running, fitness, outdoor activities and boxing. The shop opened in October 2013 with 1,300 articles. By the end of the year, the assortment included about 2,800 articles. In Western Europe, sales at Galeria Kaufhof decreased slightly by 2.6%. Textiles sales declined as a result of weather conditions.  
During the first quarter of 2013/14, EBIT at Galeria Kaufhof fell from €190 million to €159 million. EBIT before special items also totalled €159 million
(Q1 2012/13: €189 million). The decrease resulted largely from the inclusion of real estate transactions in the figure for the previous year's quarter. 
Galeria Kaufhof
Q1 2012/13 (€ million)
Q1 2013/14 (€ million)
Change (€)
Like-for-like (in local currency)
Sales
996
1,002
0.6%
0.6%
Germany
944
951
0,8%
0.8%
Western Europe
53
51
-2.6%
-2.6%
EBIT before special items
189
159
€-30 million
 
METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. During the financial year 2012/13 (pro forma), it generated sales of about €66 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 32 countries and has a headcount of around 265,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry - the international leader in self-service wholesale - Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing - Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

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