METRO GROUP confirms growth targets

5 May 2010

  • Tangible earnings improvement anticipated for 2010 owing to Shape 2012
  • Stable dividend of € 1.18 proposed per share of common stock
  • Dr Eckhard Cordes: "Shape 2012 will give a new profile to the company."
  • Prof Dr Jürgen Kluge nominated as member of the Supervisory Board

At its General Meeting, the CEO of METRO AG, Dr Eckhard Cordes, presented the successful financial statements for the financial year 2009. "Already today, our value enhancement programme Shape 2012 is making a substantial contribution to earnings improvement", explains Cordes. "This contribution will continue to rise further in the current financial year. We again anticipate a significant increase in EBIT". METRO AG proposes a stable dividend of € 1.18 per share of common stock to the General Meeting. At the same time, the Supervisory Board has nominated Prof Dr Jürgen Kluge as member of the Supervisory Board. The Chairman of this Board, Franz M. Haniel, has resigned from his office effective at the close of the General Meeting. 

"2009 was an exceptional year. This severe economic crisis had an extreme impact on nearly all companies and industry sectors around the globe", said Dr Eckhard Cordes. "However, in the crisis year we created the preconditions for substantially raising our earnings again in the medium term". This is why METRO GROUP ramped up its medium term earnings guidance for EBIT before special items from more than 8 to more than 10 percent per year. 

The efficiency and value enhancement programme Shape 2012 launched in January 2012 already contributed € 208 million to earnings improvement in the previous financial year. Cordes: "Shape 2012 does not only mean 6,000 individual actions to improve earnings. With this programme, we are also unfolding the full strength of our company. Shape 2012 will give a new profile to our company". For the current financial year METRO GROUP therefore anticipates a tangible growth in sales and earnings. In the first quarter 2010, METRO GROUP returned to profitable growth: it raised sales by 2.3% to € 15.5 billion and boosted EBIT before special items by 55.9% to € 136 million – the first rise in earnings since 2008. 

Based on the good development of METRO GROUP in the financial year 2009 the company's Supervisory Board and Management Board propose to the General Meeting an unchanged high dividend of € 1.18 per share of common stock and € 1.298 per share of preferred stock. The General Meeting in addition also decides on the election of Prof Dr Jürgen Kluge to the company's Supervisory Board. Kluge (aged 56), who took over as CEO and Chief Human Resources Officer of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH on 1 January 2010, is to succeed Franz M. Haniel as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of METRO AG. Haniel has resigned from his office effective at the close of the General Meeting. 

METRO GROUP sales in financial year 2009 dropped 3.6 percent to € 65.5 billion compared to the year-earlier. Adjusted for currency effects, however, the Group reported a sales growth of 0.2 percent. EBIT before special items decreased by 8.9 percent to € 2.024 billion. In this context, Metro Cash & Carry in particular felt the negative consequences of currency effects. The remaining segments of METRO GROUP managed to even raise their EBIT before special items over the year earlier. 

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most international retailing companies. In 2009 the Group reached sales of around € 66 billion. The company has a headcount of some 290,000 employees and operates more than 2,100 stores in 33 countries. The Group's performance is based on the strength of its sales brands 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.