The foreign business of German retailer Metro Group grew by 10.5% over the 2005 financial year, with Eastern Europe contributing greatly.

The Dusseldorf-based retailer called the term a success as overall turnover rose by 4.2% to EUR55.7bn (US$67.37bn), and expects a 4% to 6% turnover growth for 2006. The international portion of Metro's turnover achieved a new maximum value of 53.4%.

Dr. Hans Hans-Joachim Koerber, chairman of the board of the Metro Group said: "The group altogether successfully locked the financial year 2005. In the past years the advanced internationalisation of our business carries fruits.

"More than half of the conversion and more than two thirds of the profit we gained in 2005 was abroad. In addition, in Germany we are well set up in the hard competition. Only with material in Germany the development is disappointing.

"The Metro Group profits today from its strong operational readiness level on the future markets of Eastern Europe and Asia with two digit increases. In addition, on markets of Western Europe were successful."

During the year Metro made market entrances into Bosnia, Sweden and Pakistan.