Against the backdrop of a weak start to Christmas business in many European countries, negative currency effects and the increasingly noticeable effects of the sovereign debt crisis on the economic development and consumer confidence, METRO GROUP is adjusting its sales and earnings guidance for financial year 2011.
Should the presently weak trend of the important Christmas business continue, METRO GROUP anticipates sales to come in slightly below the prior year level of €67.3 billion. Regarding EBIT before special items, METRO GROUP expects earnings slightly below the prior-year level of €2.4 billion.
"Originally we had expected that, based on the weak prior-year basis, this year's Christmas business would grow. However the start to Christmas business has so far distinctly lagged behind the prior year level", said Dr. Eckhard Cordes, CEO of METRO AG. "In many European countries consumers are very anxious in view of the growing sovereign debt crisis, higher unemployment rates and austerity programmes. In addition, leading economic research institutes are of the opinion that the already negative general environment for the national and global economy has further deteriorated during the past weeks. We feel the resulting consumer restraint across all sales divisions and national borders. We will now make every concerted effort to generate earnings for the year on the same high level as in the previous year".