Cash-and-carry firm Metro AG has reported a 20% increase in sales in the first quarter of its financial year, to €7.6 billion, as the business continues its rebound following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
The company cited double-digit sales growth with professional HoReCa customers as the key driver of this increase – in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, HoReCa performance was particularly strong, it said.
Sales in Metro's store-based business grew by 13% to €6.2 billion, foodservice delivery (FSD) sales were up 64% to €1.4 billion, while sales in its Metro Markets business grew by 161% to €15 million.
Continuing on from its strong end to last year, EBITDA for the quarter grew by €129 million to €528 million, it said, while free cash flow increased to €283 million.
Metro 'Forging Ahead'
“We are forging ahead with the implementation of our ambitious ‘sCore’ growth strategy with full force," commented Dr Steffen Greubel, CEO of Metro AG.
"The strong first quarter growth shows that we are able to support our customers well in this phase with a high availability of products, relevant assortments and our flexible channel mix. Sales are above pre-pandemic levels, and earnings are also developing positively."
In its home market of Germany, sales were up 0.7%, just falling short of pre-pandemic levels, Metro said.
In its 'West' business segment, sales rose 36.1% to €3 billion (ahead of pre-pandemic sales), with France, Italy and Spain the main contributors to this growth.
Russia saw sales up 17.9%, while reported sales in Metro's 'East' segment grew by 14.8% to €2.4 billion.
Confirmed Outlook For 2021/22
Metro confirmed its sales and EBITDA outlook for the coming financial year, adding that it is committed to 'consistently executing the growth strategy'.
"The industry will continue to face challenges for a while," Greubel added. "With our stores, food service distribution, online marketplace and digital tools, we will maximise our ability to empower our customers to meet the challenges they face. This will allow us to continue to grow together with them.”