German group Metro will lower its dividend for the first time since it was listed on the stock exchange in 1996. Shareholders will receive 1 euro per share for the year 2012, compared to 1.35 euro last year. In that way shareholders feel the backlash of the economic crisis on the parent company of among other Saturn and Media Markt.
EBIT also down
The announcement came unexpected, as Metro only releases its financial results for the year 2012 on March 20, but because the results will have a substantial effect on the share price, the company decided to announce the lowering of the dividend earlier than expected.
Metro also revealed that earnings before interest and taxes and one-time expenses for the past year have dropped to 1.98 billion euro. In 2011 the counter had stopped at 2.37 billion euro.
High one-time expenses
In 2012 the retail group faced some one-time expenses, like the selling of cash & carry activities in the United Kingdom and hypermarkets in Central Europe, which were sold to colleague Auchan. The expansion of Media Markt in China was also frozen and the group started a plan to cut costs. All these expenses amounted to a one-time expense of 585 million euro.
After the announcement of the lower dividend the share price of Metro dropped by 5% in Frankfurt. Over the past two years the shares of Metro lost more than half their value.