German retail giant Metro Group is to reorganise the structure of its Makro operations in Spain and Portugal, resulting in 150 jobs being cut and the closure of its Portuguese head office.

The move, announced yesterday (19 April), is part of the group’s strategy to build synergies in both countries to improve competitiveness and the performance of Makro in Portugal, it said.

By 1 May, both local head offices and its management will be integrated into a new central headquarters based in Madrid. José María Cervera, country manager of Makro Spain, will assume the general management of both countries.

In addition, large parts of the administrative functions of Makro Portugal will be moved to Makro Spain and a store in Aveiro, Portugal will close down.

As a result of the new organisational structure and the closure of the Aveiro store, the number of employees in Portugal will be reduced by around 150 – 90 from the division’s headquarters and around 60 from the Aveiro store.

Makro Portugal did not reach performance targets, the firm said. It suffered additional pressure from “an extremely difficult economic environment with a shrinking real GDP, a double-digit unemployment rate and a very high inflation rate”, the company said.

“In Portugal, we want to return to a solid, sustainable and future growth path for our wholesale business”, Frans Muller, CEO of Metro Cash & Carry, said. “We firmly believe that the integration will lead to efficient processes, a leaner administration, the increase of buying synergies, bundling of expert know-how in one organisation and the reduction of costs of several million euros. This step will make both countries more forceful prospects.”