Stable despite economic crisis: 2009 sales in local currency slightly above prior year

12 January 2010

  • Sales in local currency terms grow by 0.2% – sales in Euro decline due to negative currency effects to €65.5 billion
  • Sales in Germany on prior year’s level – good Christmas trading
  • EBIT before special items in line with market expectations
  • Despite crisis year 80 new openings in 2009
  • Capex budget 2010 increased to c.€1.9 billion – higher number of new store openings planned
  • Shape 2012 will strengthen earnings power

In the financial year 2009 (1 January – 31 December), METRO Group's sales in local currency terms grew by 0.2% according to preliminary and unaudited figures. Sales in Euro declined due to negative currency effects to €65.5 billion. In the financial year 2009, sales in Germany remained remained unchanged. 

"In spite of the global economic and financial crisis, 2009 was all in all a satisfactory year for METRO Group. We were able to further strengthen our market positions in many countries during this unprecedented year of crisis," said Dr Eckhard Cordes, CEO of METRO Group. Pre-currency sales in 2009 came in slightly above prior year's level. METRO Group expects EBIT before special items to be in line with market expectations. Also in Q4 the operating earnings development has been positively influenced by Shape 2012. 

"Also in 2010 we expect the macroeconomic conditions to remain challenging. Nevertheless, we see many opportunities for our strong formats. We will again significantly accelerate our international growth. Hence, we have increased our capex budget from €1.6 billion to roughly €1.9 billion," said Cordes. In 2010 the number of new store openings will increase significantly, whereby the growth regions, Eastern Europe and Asia, will continue to be focussed upon. Media Markt will open its first stores in China. Furthermore, Metro Cash & Carry plans its market entry into Egypt. Already in the crisis year 2009 METRO Group has opened 80 new locations worldwide. 

"The consistent implementation of the efficiency and value-enhancing programme Shape 2012 will sustainably strengthen the earnings power of METRO Group," said Cordes. "With the new structures in place, it is now a question of tapping the potentials step by step and continuing to press ahead with the implementation. Therewith, we also safeguard METRO Group's profitable growth in the long run." 

Sales development METRO Group

According to preliminary and unaudited figures, METRO Group's sales in the financial year 2009 (1 January – 31 December) declined by 3.6% to €65.5 billion. However, in local currency terms sales grew by 0.2%. 

In Q4 2009, the sales trend of the first nine months broadly continued. Group sales decreased by 3.4% to €19.4 billion. Currency effects continued to burden sales, albeit to a lesser extent than in the first three quarters. Adjusted for currency effects, sales were on prior year's level (-0.1%) with a significantly smaller number of new store openings compared to Q4 2008. Also in Q4, price effects continued to decline for the food divisions, albeit to a lesser extent than in the first nine months of 2009. The business development in December showed a noticeable trend improvement compared to the first two months in Q4. All divisions, with the exception of Metro Cash & Carry, grew like-for-like sales in December. 

In Germany, sales in 2009 declined by 0.6% to €26.5 billion. Adjusted for the effects resulting from the interim delivery of the Extra stores, which were divested as of 1 July 2008, and the divestment of the operational business of AXXE Reisegastronomie, sales in Germany were on prior year's level and came in at -0.1%. Thus, sales in Germany showed a significantly better development than the overall market. In Q4, sales decreased by 0.7%. This sales decline is mainly attributable to the AXXE divestment and store disposals. Despite weak consumer sentiment, Christmas trading was gratifying. 

Full year 2009 sales from the international operations declined by 5.5% (adjusted for currency effects: +0.7%) to €39.0 billion. In Q4, a sales slowdown in Eastern Europe was contrasted by an improved sales development in Western Europe. Sales decreased by 5.2% (adjusted for currency effects: +0.3%). 

In Western Europe (excluding Germany), sales were €20.9 billion and thus only slightly below the prior year's level. Adjusted for currency effects, sales even grew by 0.3%. The stabilisation trend seen in Q3 continued in Q4. Sales grew by 1.1% (adjusted for currency effects: 1.5%). 

In Eastern Europe, full year sales declined significantly by 12.8% to €15.8 billion. In addition to the difficult macroeconomic environment, this development is mainly attributable to negative currency effects. In local currency, sales grew by 1.4%. In Q4, sales declined by 12.5%. Against the backdrop of a still very challenging market environment, especially for non-food, pre-currency sales declined by 1.5% 

In Asia/Africa, sales grew by 4.7% to €2.3 billion. For the full year, currency effects in this region were positive. In local currency, sales grew by 0.5%. However in Q4, currency effects reversed and sales declined by 8.0%. In local currency, sales grew by 0.7%, which exceeded the level of the first nine months. 

Metro Cash & Carry

Financial year 2009 sales at Metro Cash & Carry declined by 7.6% (adjusted for currency effects: -2.5%). In like-for-like terms, sales fell by 4.9%. In Q4, the sales development was impaired by a significantly smaller number of new store openings year-on-year. In addition, non-food sales, especially in Eastern Europe, continued to show a noticeable decline. 

Sales in Germany in 2009 fell short of the prior year's level. However, like-for-like sales in Q4 showed a slightly better development than from January to September. 

Sales in Western Europe in 2009 fell short of the prior year's level. Due to the difficult economic conditions, which afflicted all countries to a different extent, also like-for-like sales were below prior year's level. However, like-for-like sales in Q4 showed a slightly better development than in the first nine months. Therewith, the stabilisation, seen in Q3, continued in Q4. 

In Eastern Europe, sales in 2009 declined due to currency effects and like-for-like sales losses. Although the negative currency effects lessened in the course of Q4, the like-for-like sales development deteriorated. This was predominantly due to the markedly increased consumer reticence for non-food products in a very strained market environment. 

In Asia/Africa, sales in 2009 reached new record levels. Thereby, sales in Q4 showed a significantly positive development in local currency. 


Sales at Real in 2009 declined by 2.9% to €11.3 billion. However, adjusted for currency effects, sales at Real grew by 1.3%. In Q4, the sales development was weaker than in the first nine months, also in like-for-like terms. This is mainly due to the non-food business development in Eastern Europe. 

In 2009, sales in Germany declined mainly because of store disposals. Like-for-like sales declined slightly. This trend continued in Q4. In the difficult market environment, Real continued to make progress with regard to its repositioning: the share of private labels of TiP, Real Quality, Real Bio and Real Selection increased significantly, customer loyalty was strengthened, and the store network was further optimised. 

In Eastern Europe, sales in local currency in 2009 continued to grow dynamically and for both the full year and Q4, like-for-like sales grew. However, the sales momentum lessened in Q4 in light of the difficult macroeconomic environment. 

Media Markt and Saturn

In an overall challenging year, Media Markt and Saturn were able to strengthen their leading market position in Europe. Sales grew by 3.7% to €19.7 billion (adjusted-for-currency effects: +5.5%). Therewith, sales growth outperformed the market development. Despite fewer new store openings, the positive sales trend continued also in Q4 and sales grew by 3.7% to €6.5 billion (adjusted for currency effects: +5.1%). 

2009 sales in Germany grew against a high prior year base, also like-for-like sales increased. The positive development of the first nine months continued in Q4. Thereby, Media Markt and Saturn benefited from successful marketing campaigns. Despite the difficult economic environment, customer demand for consumer electronics remained robust. Television sets, game consoles and notebooks were among the best-selling items this past Christmas. 

In Western Europe, Media Markt and Saturn grew again faster than the overall market in 2009 and were thus able to gain further market shares. Already Q3 saw signs of business improvement, this was confirmed in Q4. As was the case already in Q3, the like-for-like sales development was positive. 

2009 sales in Eastern Europe declined due to currency effects. However, adjusted for currency effects sales grew significantly. Whilst negative currency effects lessened in the course of Q4, the like-for-like sales development worsened. This is chiefly attributable to the significant customer reticence resulting from the difficult macroeconomic environment. 

Galeria Kaufhof

Sales in 2009 at Galeria Kaufhof were €3.5 billion. This corresponds to a decline of 1.9%. However, in a still difficult market environment sales in Q4 showed a better development than in the first nine months. Galeria Kaufhof was, to a certain extent, able to break away from the difficult market development. In particular the trading at the start of the quarter and during the Christmas rush were very satisfactory. Thereby, the development in the by far strongest sales month, December, was above prior year's level. Especially high quality toys, perfume and seasonal sporting items were in high demand. In Q4, Galeria Kaufhof celebrated its 130-year anniversary. 

Store network development 2009

In the full year 2009 METRO Group opened 80 locations in total. Therewith, the Group continued its successful international expansion strategy. 

Metro Cash & Carry alone opened 18 new stores. In 2009, new store openings totalled 18. As per usual, the new store opening emphasis was on Q4 with nine openings. For the first time ever, more stores were opened in Asia than in Europe. Four Metro Cash & Carry stores each opened in China and Russia and three in Pakistan. In Japan and Ukraine, two stores each were opened. In Vietnam and Turkey, one store each opened. In October, the first store in Kazakhstan opened, and the groundbreaking for the first store in Egypt took place. Therewith, the successful international expansion strategy was continued. Within the scope of Shape 2012 three unprofitable stores in United Kingdom and two in Germany were closed down. Metro Cash & Carry thus operates 668 stores in 30 countries, of which 124 in Germany, 259 in Western Europe, 210 in Eastern Europe and 75 in Asia/Africa. 

In 2009, 12 Real hypermarkets were opened. The store network in Romania grew by four stores. In Turkey and Russia, three stores each were opened. The store network in Poland was enlarged by one store. In October, the first Real hypermarket opened in Odessa in the Ukraine. Thus, Real further extended its leading hypermarket position in Eastern Europe. In Germany ten unprofitable stores were disposed of, two of which in Q4. At the end of 2009, the store network comprised 441 stores, thereof 333 in Germany and 108 in Eastern Europe. 

In 2009, 50 Media Markt und Saturn stores were opened in total, thereof eight stores each in Germany and Turkey. In Italy seven stores and in Russia six stores were opened. The store network in Spain was enlarged by four stores and in Belgium, France and Poland by three stores each. Two stores each opened in Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. The store networks in Greece and Austria were enlarged by one store each. At the end of 2009, the store network of Media Markt and Saturn comprised 818 stores in 16 countries, thereof 375 in Germany, 322 in Western and 121 in Eastern Europe. 

At the end of 2009, the store network of Galeria Kaufhof remained unchanged and comprised 141 stores, thereof 126 in Germany and 15 in Belgium. 

Financial Calendar 2010

Tuesday, 23 March

08:00 am

Financial Year 2009


09:30 am

Annual Press Conference

Friday, 30 April

07:15 am

Quarterly Financial Report Q1 2010

Wednesday, 5 May

10:30 am

Annual General Meeting

Monday, 2 August

07:15 Uhr

Half-Year Financial Report H1/Q2 2010

Friday, 29 October

07:15 Uhr

Quarterly Financial Report 9M/Q3 2010

METRO Group is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. In 2009 the Group reached sales of around € 66 billion. The company has a headcount of some 300,000 employees and operates around 2,100 stores in 33 countries. The Group's performance is based on the strength of its sales divisions which operate independently in their respective market segment: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale, Real hypermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn – European market leader in consumer electronics retailing, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.