German retail group Metro Group has posted rises in both sales and earnings for the second quarter. Group sales in the second quarter rose by 7.9% to EUR14.0bn (US$17.9bn), while international sales rose by 13.1%.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 14.6% to EUR629m, with EBIT climbing by 23.8% to EUR322m. Earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations improved by 9 cents to EUR0.36.

“Metro Group has emphatically attested to its performance potential and dynamic growth by achieving distinct increases in terms of sales and earnings, not only abroad but also in the domestic market”, said the company’s CEO Hans-Joachim Körber, adding that FIFA World Cup Finals, held in Germany this summer, had helped its domestic business. “Metro Group is favourably positioned. Taking into account the business development so far we are convinced that we will succeed in continuing on our successful growth route.”

Growth in Metro’s international business means the international share of the company’s total turnover rose to 56.2% in the second quarter, from 53.7% in the corresponding period last year. As of June 2006, the company was operating in 30 countries at some 2,203 locations.

In the second quarter of 2006, the Metro Cash & Carry business increased sales by 7.4% year-on-year to EUR7.4bn, with international sales accounting 80.5%, boosted by double-digit sales growth in Eastern Europe and Asia. Turnover in Eastern Europe was up by 16.9%, while Asian markets saw a 22.5% rise in sales.  

In Western Europe, sales rose by 3.5%, with strong growth recorded in France and Spain. However, sales dipped by 0.9% in Germany. EBIT from Metro Cash & Carry rose by 8.2% to EUR250m.

The company’s  Real division saw a 2.0% increase in sales to EUR2.4bn. In Germany, the Real business has stabilised, with sales rising by 0.3% on a like-for-like basis. Real’s sales volumes in Eastern Europe rose by 29.3%, driven by new stores and strong like-for-like growth in Poland. EBIT at Real climbed to EUR5m, from EUR1m in the corresponding period last year.

Metro Group’s targets for the 2006 fiscal year remain unchanged, with the company forecasting a revenue increase of 4% to 6%, along with a 5% to 8% rise in EPS.