Metro Withdraws Guidance For 2019/20 Financial Year Due To COVID-19
Wholesaler Metro has withdrawn its guidance for continuing operations for the current financial year, which were published last December, due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
In a statement, the group said that it is refraining from issuing a new guidance for the period, adding that based on current calculations, each additional month with the current level of restrictions will result in sales losses of around €500 million.
It said that its HoReCa business was particularly badly hit by the ongoing epidemic, with sales down by around 75%.
“The support of our customers is of highest priority. We want to ensure that restaurateurs make it through these difficult times as good as possible," commented Olaf Koch, Metro's chief executive.
It said that almost all (95%) of its stores remain open, noting that it is offering support services such as deliveries to private households in some markets.
In terms of day-to-day operations, Metro said that it is 'well-positioned' to weather the current situation due to its decentralised organisational structure and 'sufficient' liquidity reserves.
In-store, the group has enforced strict distancing and hygiene standards, while its administrative staff are largely working from home.
"While Covid-19 continues to spread widely around the world, the safety and health of our employees and customers is our top priority," Koch said.
"We have taken immediate and consistent action to respond to the temporary decline in the HoReCa business. We reduce our costs, ensure our supply chain continuity and support our customers with numerous initiatives."
Metro's second-quarter results for the 2019/20 financial year are due to be published on 7 May.
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