German Metro says 2010 sales at 67.3 bn euros

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The German retail group Metro, number three worldwide, said Tuesday that provisional 2010 sales increased by 2.6 percent to 67.3 billion euros ($87 billion) as it opened 100 new stores in 25 countries.

The group reiterated its core earnings target of 2.3 billion euros before special items, which would be a new record, chief executive Eckhard Cordes was quoted as saying.

Positive currency effects contributed to the result as the euro declined in value against other major currencies last year, a statement said.

It quoted Cordes as saying the group also "pushed our efficiency- and value-enhancing programme Shape 2012 consistently," and laid a foundation for further expansion abroad.

The group maintained strong operations despite what he termed "difficult weather conditions during the important Christmas business (season)" at home.

For 2011, Metro expected more growth owing to an increased expansion programme and productivity gains, following a fourth quarter which saw sales rise by 1.6 percent to 19.7 billion euros.

The strongest gains last year were seen in the Asia/Africa region, where the group reported a sales increase of 17.1 percent to 2.7 billion euros.

In Germany however, it noted a 1.4 percent slide to 26.1 billion euros.

© 2011 AFP

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