German retailer METRO earnings up 10.7 percent

22nd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

22 March 2005, DUSSELDORF - German retailing concern METRO reported on Tuesday that it achieved net profit of EUR 933 million in 2004, up 10.7 percent from the previous year.

22 March 2005

DUSSELDORF - German retailing concern METRO reported on Tuesday that it achieved net profit of EUR 933 million in 2004, up 10.7 percent from the previous year.

The company said sales reached EUR 56.4 billion, up 5.3 percent on 2003 figures, while earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) gained by 13.8 percent to EUR 1.81 billion.

METRO Group, owner of the Kaufhof chain of department stores as well as several other retail outlets, said earnings per share, at EUR 2.53, were up 7.7 percent on 2003. At the same time, the company reduced its net debts by more than EUR 500 million.

The company said the EBITA growth "was the result of positive earnings developments in the sales divisions, in particular in the eastern European markets".

The foreign share of total sales reached 49 percent, compared with 47.2 percent in 2003, METRO said.

Company chief executive Hans-Joachim Koerber said "2004 was a successful year for the METRO Group. Defying the weak sectoral environment, we managed once again to substantially improve both our sales and earnings".

Despite the strong earnings rise, METRO said it would maintain dividends at the same payout as previously, at EUR 1.02 per common share and EUR 1.12 per preferred stock.

DPA

Subject: German news

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