Metro chief executive Olaf Koch has said that the financial year 2018/19 marked "significant progress" in the company's bid to become a pure wholesale business.
Commenting at Metro's AGM, Koch said that the period saw the "strongest like-for-like growth for Metro Wholesale in the past ten years", a recognition of the group's more targeted focus.
The recent sale of a majority stake in Metro China, coupled with the sale of its Real hypermarket business, agreed last week, means that the business now expects net proceeds of more than €1.5 billion.
This "will provide financial flexibility and enable us to achieve dividend continuity, targeted acquisitions and further reduce our net debt", Koch added.
At the AGM, which took place on Friday, a proposed dividend of €0.70 per share was approved.
In addition, Marco Arcelli, director of business development at Prague-based Energeticky a prumyslovy holding was elected as a new member of the group's supervisory board, following the resignation of Dr Florian Funck, chief financial officer at Haniel.
Gwyn Burr, Prof. Dr. Edgar Ernst and Dr. Liliana Solomon were also re-elected as members of the supervisory board.
Metro reported a 1.0% like-for-like sales increase in the first quarter of its financial year, with reported sales rising by 2.2% to €7.5 billion.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.