- Preliminary rating for the future METRO Wholesale and Food specialist "BBB- / A-3" and stable outlook finally confirmed
- Exchange listing of the shares of the new METRO AG expected by Mid-July 2017
The international rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has confirmed an investment grade rating for the future METRO Wholesale and Food specialist and has set the previously preliminary rating of BBB- / A-3 with a stable outlook from last December to final, following the positive decision by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht). Following the decision of 22 June 2017 by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht), METRO GROUP is confident that it will be able to implement the demerger into two strong, successful and strategically focused stock listed companies as planned. It is anticipated that, in the middle of July, a wholesale and food specialist with the company brand METRO and a company with the corporate brand CECONOMY, aimed at Consumer Electronics, are to be created with the coming into effect of the demerger.
The S&P credit analysts have based the rating on the assessment of both business and financial profile, which has remained almost unchanged since the preliminary rating from December 2016. METRO GROUP has reduced its net debt by some EUR 5 billion over the past few years and as such has clearly improved its financial profile. As Europe’s largest wholesale and food specialist, S&P views its international diversification and established market position in growth regions such as China and Russia to be positive. A strong real estate ownership, a comfortable debt and liquidity profile and sound financial policy support the rating.
Furthermore, it was positively mentioned that, in the 2015/2016 financial year, approximately three quarters of sales in the wholesale business were accounted for by regular customers. This proves the strong market position and promises potential for further growth. S&P also notes that future METRO has a strong presence in the so-called "HoReCa" segment, which is aimed at hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, fast food restaurants, catering companies and canteens. Here, METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company accounts for almost 41% of the wholesale turnover.