Retail giant Metro Group closed 2007 with an 8.8% rise in underlying profits, thanks to rising sales at home and abroad.

The company booked underlying operating profit - excluding earnings from the Extra supermarkets sold in January - of EUR2.1bn (US$3.3bn).

Metro reported annual revenue of EUR65.9bn, a rise of 7.1% on an organic basis. Including the acquisitions of Wal-Mart Germany and Géant in Poland, Metro saw turnover climb 10%.

"Our successful financials in 2007 build a strong foundation for the future value-creating growth strategy of Metro Group," said Eckhard Cordes, the company's CEO.

Cordes joined the company in September and has spent his first few months at the helm evaluating Metro's business.

In January, Metro sold its Extra business in Germany to local rival Rewe to leave the company to focus on its Real hypermarkets.

Cordes added: "In the past weeks we have analysed Metro's situation in detail. On this basis, we developed our strategy to sustainably increase Metro's profitability as our highest goal."

Sales in Germany grew 6.1% to EUR26.3bn and internationally, sales jumped 13.6% to EUR38bn.