Russia "very important market" for Metro, retailer said

Russia "very important market" for Metro, retailer said

Metro Group has announced plans to float part of its Russian cash-and-carry business in London.

The German retail giant, which had been looking at options for funding for expansion, said it would look to list 25% of the division during the first half of the year.

Markus Haniel, chairman of Metro's supervisory board, said the move would help the Russian unit expand and improve the company's balance sheet.

"A stock market listing is expected to give the Russian cash-and-carry business further opportunity to realise its growth potential. Furthermore, the transaction will provide Metro Group with additional strategic flexibility for investments and create further deleveraging potential," Haniel said.

Metro has 70 cash-and-carry stores in Russia. The country's is the third-largest market for Metro's cash-and-carry arm, when measured by number of stores, behind Germany and France.