Oct 19, 2015
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Metro starts Christmas quarter with upbeat outlook

Oct 19, 2015

German retailer Metro AG said it was optimistic for the Christmas trading period after like-for-like sales rose 1.3 percent in the final quarter of its fiscal year, powered by strong growth at its consumer electronics business.

Metro said on Monday that sales fell 1.1 percent to 14.2 billion euros ($16.1 billion) in the July-September quarter, hurt by currency effects and disposals.

On a like-for-like basis, sales grew at its core wholesale and consumer electronics units, by 1.1 percent and 2.9 percent respectively, Metro said in a statement.

Metro said that marked a fifth consecutive quarter of growth for Media-Saturn, Europe's largest consumer electronics chain, with all regions contributing, particularly Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Hungary and Turkey.

Metro, which reports full results for the 2014/15 year on Dec. 15, confirmed its guidance for earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) before special items to be "slightly" above the 1.531 billion euros achieved in the previous year.

Emerging from years of restructuring and disposals of non-core businesses, Europe's fourth-biggest retailer said expansion in ecommerce and delivery was helping its market position, and it had begun the current quarter with an optimistic outlook.

Metro confirmed the net cash inflow from its recent sale of the Kaufhof department store chain was 1.75 billion euros, above its original forecast for 1.6 billion, which Chief Executive Olaf Koch said would help the company make further acquisitions.

In August, Metro AG bought Singapore-based restaurant supplier Classic Fine Foods Group from private equity group EQT for $290 million to help it expand in the food delivery business in Asia and Europe.

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