German retail giant Metro Group has moved to a net profit in the first half of the year.

Metro recorded earnings of EUR17m in the six month period. This compared to a net loss of EUR98m in the year-ago period. Earnings benefited from the positive effects of the closure of Real operations in Russia and Ukraine.

EBIT reached EUR369m from EUR63m in the prior year. 

Chairman Olaf Koch said Metro continued to “significantly strengthen” its balance sheet and achieved “overall positive business development” in the period.

Sales edged up 0.1% to EUR30.8bn.

Metro reaffirmed its sales and earnings guidance for the 2013 financial year. The retailer said it expects to generate “moderate” sales growth, and EBIT before special items to increase compared to the level achieved in the corresponding period of the previous year of EUR706m.

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