Sovereign debt crisis, currency effects and a weak start to Christmas business - METRO GROUP reduces sales and earnings guidance for 2011

6 December 2011

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".

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most international retailing companies. In 2010 the Group reached sales of around € 67 billion. The company has a headcount of some 280,000 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.