German retailer Metro Group has confirmed it will make around 900 job cuts globally as part of a cost-cutting initiative unveiled in May.

Metro announced plans to focus on reducing costs and consolidating its operations in existing markets on the release of its first-quarter results in May.

The EUR100m (US$122.9m) in savings, including job cuts, CEO Olaf Koch emphasised, would be “painful”. The firm’s Real hypermarket and cash-and-carry divisions contributed to the German retail giant losses widening in the first quarter of the year.

A spokesperson for the retailer told just-food today (19 July) that the job cuts are a “further step” in Metro’s cost cutting strategy and will include the elimination of 200 jobs across the firm’s central administrative function in Düsseldorf.

The remaining 700 jobs will be global, he added.

“This is 900 out of 11,000 in our central administrative functions globally with 200 in our Düsseldorf operations. That includes the headquarters, Cash & Carry, IT logistics and property.

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“We have not disclosed details on where the 700 will be cut so far. We have got administrative functions and logistics and property operations in many countries, so some of these 700 may be in Germany but also globally.”

The spokesperson said it was not known when an announcement on the further 700 cuts will be made, adding: “It depends on the negotiations with the employee representatives which are now going to start. It is not clear how long those will last.”

It is understood employees will be able to apply for roles elsewhere within Metro AG.

“With regard to out cost-cutting [initiative], the main part of it will come next year, but the whole initiative is expected to go on until 2015 when everything will be complete.”