GERMANY: Metro bullish after overseas growth
German retailer Metro has upped its revenue forecast for 2007 amid growing overseas sales.
Metro, the world's third-largest retailer by sales, said underlying revenue during the three months to the end of September rose 7.1%. Operating profit was up 14.8% to EUR323m.
So far this year, Metro's sales have risen by 10.8% to EUR46bn (US$66.4bn).
"The growth driver continues to be our international business," said Metro CFO Thomas Unger. "In view of the good business trend during the first nine months we are raising our sales forecast to now over 9%."
Sales in Eastern Europe and Asia jumped 26.8% and 27% respectively. Metro's Cash & Carry business enjoyed strong sales in markets including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.
In Germany, however, sales from the Cash & Carry business dipped 0.2%. Nevertheless, Metro's total sales in Germany were boosted by the integration of the Wal-Mart stores it bought last year. Metro's consolidated sales in Germany rose 6.9%.
The Wal-Mart stores have been integrated into Metro's Real business. Metro said losses from its Real business widened to EUR71m during the third quarter of the year due to higher start-up costs linked to the company's expansion into Eastern Europe.
Nevertheless, Metro added that it expects full-year group profits to rise by 6-8%.
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