Metro AG Sees Slight Sales Increase In Q1, Driven By Wholesale Growth
German retailer Metro AG has reported that sales grew by 0.2%, to €10.1 billion, in the first quarter of the year, with like-for-like sales up by 0.8%.
EBITDA, excluding earnings from real-estate transactions, grew by 9% to reach €608 million, and earnings per share nearly doubled to €0.64, compared to the same period last year.
"In the first quarter of 2017/18, we achieved a positive development in sales and EBITDA, excluding earnings from real-estate transactions, despite a lower number of sales days than in the previous year," said Olaf Koch, chairman of Metro AG.
"Overall, we achieved our earnings targets in the first quarter and remain committed to our guidance for financial year 2017/18," Koch continued.
Metro's wholesale business saw like-for-like sales growth of 1%, driven by all segments except Russia, with a 2.2% increase in the group's home market, Germany.
Reported sales were up by 0.6%, to €8.1 billion, however, the unit's delivery business showed "very positive momentum", with sales growing by more than 28%, to €1.3 billion.
Elsewhere, Metro's Real hypermarket business saw like-for-like sales on par with the previous year, while reported sales fell by 0.5%, to €2 billion, primarily due to store disposals.
However, Metro noted that Real has continued a "very positive development" of its online business, with sales increasing by approximately 45%, reaching a 2% share of total sales.
Metro says that it expects to see a slight rise in overall sales for the 2017/2018 financial year, despite a "persistently challenging economic environment".
The group is aiming for its growth rate to at least match the 1.1% increase achieved in the previous year, anticipating that the main driver of growth will be Metro Wholesale.
EBITDA is expected to increase by approximately 10%, with both retail segments contributing to increased earnings.
Bruno Monteyne, analyst at Bernstein, noted that the consensus EBITDA for Q1 has been guided down by management in the run-up to this release, but that the reiteration of a 10% increase assumes a greater increase in future quarters.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.