German retail group Metro today [Tuesday] forecasted a 10% increase in earnings per share this year, on sales forecast up 6% to exceed €52bn (US$45.73bn) in the full year. Group chief executive Hans-Joachim Koerber told a press conference "business figures for March already indicate a stimulation in the domestic arena". Koerber's words echo optimistic forecasts by French and Dutch counterparts Carrefour and Ahold, which both recently said they expect to report a 10% improvement in earnings per share during the year in progress.