German retailer Metro cuts net loss
German retail giant Metro reduced its first-quarter net loss to 16 million euros ($21 million) from 80 million in the same period a year earlier, the company said Thursday.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to one million euros in the first three months of the year, compared with an eight-million-euro loss a year earlier.
Sales were down a slight 0.9 percent to 15.5 billion euros, the rival of Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Tesco said in a statement.
"In many countries, our customers' purchasing power has been affected by the economic downturn and the related government austerity measures," chief executive Olaf Koch said.
"However, we managed to improve our earnings and maintain our sales at a stable level year-on-year."
Online sales grew at its Media-Saturn consumer electronics chain and the Galeria Kaufhof department stores, while retail sales in physical stores was hampered by fewer trading days than last year.
For its shortened financial year that is to end on September 30, Metro Group said it "expects -- in spite of the continuing difficult business conditions -- to generate moderate growth in sales."
© 2013 AFP