Retail giant Metro cuts 2011 sales forecast

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Metro, the world's third biggest retailer, has cut its 2011 growth forecast, a spokesman said Friday as economic activity slows down in many parts of Europe.

Metro now expects sales to increase by zero to four percent, compared with a previous forecast of more than four percent, the spokesman said, citing remarks made by finance director Olaf Koch to analysts.

Shares in the retail group fell by 1.14 percent to 38.21 euros in midday trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange, while the DAX index was 1.05 percent lower overall.

Stock in the company has been in positive territory earlier in the day owing to strong German retail sales figures for the month of June.

More than half of Metro's sales are made outside its home country however, and many countries are now grappling with debt crisis and austerity plans drawn up to resolve them.

Among the eurozone countries where Metro has extensive operations are Greece, Italy and Spain.

© 2011 AFP

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