Wholesale giant Metro AG has reported a 9.9% increase in sales in the fourth quarter of its financial year, with sales for the period ahead of pre-pandemic levels.
Sales totalled €7.1 billion for the period, with both Western and Eastern Europe above pre-pandemic levels (compared to Q4 2018/19).
Full-year sales were flat, with 0.0% growth, or a 0.4% decline adjusted for first time consolidations. This was ahead of the previously stated full-year guidance of -0.5% to -3.5%.
Adjusted EBITDA was also at the upper end of the guidance range, Metro said.
Advantage Of Multichannel Positioning
"Our multichannel approach was a clear advantage here," commented Dr Steffen Greubel, chief executive of Metro AG. "Especially in the months marked by unstable pandemic conditions, the combination of flexible stores, delivery business and digital solutions, convinced our customers."
Greubel added that the "targeted investments" that the business has made in driving market share gain and improving product quality are having a positive effect on the business.
"Therefore, we will continue to invest in growth, among other things by expanding our sales force," he said. "We have laid the foundation for significant and structural growth in the future.”
In the fourth quarter, all of the group's core regions showed growth: Western Europe was up 11.8%, Eastern Europe was up 15.2%, Asia rose 11.3% and Russia saw 6.6% sales growth.
In its home market of Germany, sales to HoReCa customers were up double digits, the group added, but this could not offset the declines recorded across other customer groups, including a reduction in the tobacco business.
On a full-year basis, Germany (-5.2%) and Western Europe (-2.3%) were the only markets to see a decline, with the remainder displaying sales growth.
As of 30 September 2021, Metro's store network comprises 681 stores, following three new openings in India, one new opening in Pakistan and one closure in Germany. In Russia, the group recently unveiled a new 'dark store' concept alongside SberMarket.