Metro has repeatedly denied reports it is looking to sell off its Real hypermarket stores outside Germany

Metro has repeatedly denied reports it is looking to sell off its Real hypermarket stores outside Germany

Metro Group has said the company's view on its Real hypermarket chain is "unchanged" despite reports linking three rivals to its stores in Russia.

The German retail giant has repeatedly denied reports it is looking to sell off its Real hypermarket stores outside Germany as part of a restructuring of the business.

According to a report in Russian publication Kommersant yesterday (25 October), there are three bidders in the running for the Real stores in the country, including Auchan and local retailer O'Key.

Neither Auchan nor O'Key returned a request for comment on the report. Metro said it does not comment on speculation on the development of its portfolio.

"Our view on Real is unchanged: due to the successful repositioning and the stable performance we have different strategic options," a spokesperson for Metro said. "We are amenable concerning all theoretical scenarios: a complete or partly sale as well as that Real stays within the group on long-term. Real has a business potential which can reach the targeted return on sales of two to three percent. Thus, it is our priority to further develop the business and to exploit is potential."

In July, Metro said it had received some interest in the international business of Real but added no decision to sell Real's international arm had been made and that there had been "no concrete negotiations".

However, the group has said it will reveal further details of its plans for the future of Real in November on the release of its third-quarter results.