- Sales and EBIT guidance achieved in the short financial year 2013
- Growth driving online and delivery sales increased
- Solid start to the new business year 2013/14 despite tough market conditions
- Supervisory Board elections: Fredy Raas nominated as a member of the Supervisory Board representing the shareholders
- Future Management Board remuneration to include Sustainability component
At today's Annual General Meeting of METRO AG, Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board, informed shareholders about the company's progress made with its transformation process. Thanks as well to the expansion of the key growth drivers – online business and delivery services – METRO GROUP concluded its short financial year 2013 successfully despite the persistently difficult business conditions. "During 2013, we focused predominantly on creating added value for our customers," Koch said. "In doing so, we expanded existing activities as well as developed and implemented a large number of new ideas and concepts. We gained market share in many countries and improved our market position. We will move ahead with our transformation efforts during the financial year 2013/14 and underscore them with our new brand positioning, 'YOU & METRO'".
During the short financial year 2013, METRO GROUP fulfilled its sales and EBIT guidance while still facing difficult retailing conditions: Sales adjusted for portfolio changes and currency effects rose by 0.9% to €45.0 billion. Reported sales totalled €46.3 billion, 2.2% below the level from the previous year's period (9M 2012: €47.4 billion). This can be attributed to the persistently challenging economic environment in many parts of Europe, recently completed portfolio changes as well as negative currency effects. At €728 million, EBIT before special items was €22 million above the previous year's figure. The net profit for the period before special items stands at €16 million (9M 2012: €165 million). The net profit for the period includes special items in the amount of €87 million (9M 2012: € 179 million). Adjusted for these special items, the net loss for the period comes in at € -71 million. This corresponds in the short financial year with the net loss for the period attributable to the shareholders of METRO AG. The earnings per share before special items came in at €0.03 (9M 2012: € 0.49). Adjusted for special items, the earnings per share amounted to € -0.22 (9M 2012: € -0.06). In order to strengthen the company's financial substance, the Management Board of METRO AG will propose to today's Annual General Meeting 2014 not to pay out a dividend from the short financial year 2013.
Solid start to financial year 2013/14
During the first quarter of the financial year 2013/14, METRO GROUP created a solid foundation for its continued efforts to successfully transform the company. Group sales amounted to €18.7 billion, compared with €19.4 billion in Q1 2012/13. The decline of 3.3% resulted mainly from currency effects as well as the completed and announced portfolio changes (Real Eastern Europe: Russia, Romania and Ukraine as well as Media Markt China). Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, METRO GROUP increased sales by 1.1%. Revenue share generated with own brands, online and delivery business continued to grow. EBIT before special items finished the period under review at €1,073 million and, as forecast, below the level for the previous year's period (€1,273 million) due to lower real estate income. EBIT climbed to €1,094 million during Q1 2013/14, compared with €985 million in Q1 2012/13.
Supervisory Board elections
The agenda for today's Annual General Meeting includes an election for an additional member to the Supervisory Board. Dr Fredy Raas is to be elected for the first time to the Supervisory Board of METRO AG. Raas joined the Board by court appointment at the end of July. His appointment expires at the end of the Annual General Meeting. He replaced the late Prof. Dr Dr h. c. mult. Erich Greipl, who died at the beginning of July 2013, as a shareholder representative on the Board. The Annual General Meeting will now take a decision on Raas' continued service on the Supervisory Board.
Sustainability components planned for Management Board remuneration
The Annual General Meeting will also be asked to vote on a new system of Management Board remuneration. In future, the issue of sustainability will play a major role in remuneration. Following the vote by the Annual General Meeting, the Management Board plans to modify the remuneration of the company's top managers in a similar fashion. "At METRO GROUP, sustainability is an integral component of the company's strategy in financial, social and environmental terms," said Heiko Hutmacher, the Chief Human Resources Officer. "We believe that it is correct and appropriate to anchor sustainability into the remuneration system for our top managers." The new Sustainable Performance Plan (SPP) should be introduced as from the beginning of the financial year 2013/14. Under the new plan, 25 per cent of the long-term incentive component of Management Board remuneration will be tied to the achievement of sustainability targets in addition to key performance indicators based on the company's share price. The amount of the long-term incentive covering the sustainability components will depend on the ranking that METRO AG achieves in the RobecoSAM Sustainability Assessment in comparison with its competitors in the industry. The ranking put together by the independent Sustainability Rating agency RobecoSAM forms the basis for membership in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, one of the world's leading sustainability indices.
METRO GROUP with good marks in Sustainalytics Sustainability ranking
During the first quarter of the financial year 2013/14, the research firm Sustainalytics has given METRO GROUP good sustainability marks: in Sustainalytics' latest ranking, METRO GROUP placed sixth among 72 companies in the food retailers' category. As a result, it obtained the status of outperformer. Sustainalytics specialises in analysing and rating the sustainability activities of companies and countries by using an approach that covers environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics. The strong ranking earned by METRO GROUP's sustainability activities resulted in part from the group-wide cross-product purchasing policies that the company put into place during the short financial year. This policy spells out the fundamental requirements for sustainable supply-chain and procurement management. It also forms the framework for guidelines that address specific issues related to individual product and raw-material categories. This includes the guidelines for palm oil and packaging that were introduced during the short financial year 2013.
METRO Cash & Carry celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014
The financial year 2013/14 is a very special one for METRO Cash & Carry: it marks the wholesale expert's 50th anniversary. In preparation for the celebration, the new brand positioning of METRO Cash & Carry was introduced in December 2013. With this new positioning, METRO Cash & Carry intends to become the best partner for small and mid-sized independent entrepreneurs. The slogan "YOU & METRO" underscores this positioning and serves as the focal point of an international image campaign this year. The campaign focuses on the exceptional service and intense passion of independent entrepreneurs. Using eye-catching images and emotional presentations, the campaign shows what characterises and drives the customers of METRO Cash & Carry. By offering insights into the daily lives of independent entrepreneurs, METRO Cash & Carry demonstrates its deep understanding of their needs and acts as their partner. METRO GROUP has created a special website to mark the anniversary celebration, www.50yearsmetro.com. The site offers an overview of the anniversary year, traces the roots of METRO Cash & Carry and outlines its vision of the future. But the focus of this website is stories about the people who have made METRO Cash & Carry a success: its customers, employees and business partners.