Olaf Koch, CEO for German retail concern Metro AG, announced the company had a lower turnover in the first half of its broken fiscal year, mainly due to the fact that in 2014 Easter was in April and not March.
Lower than expected
Metro's electronics branch Media-Saturn not only has to take on increased competition from online vendors, it also has to deal with plenty of internal issues as its CEO has resigned after another heated discussion with Eric Kellerhals, the minority shareholder with veto power.
As a result of lower sales (- 3.1 %), Media-Saturn has only created a 6.86 billion euro turnover in its first quarter, which it says is because of a "consistently challenging market environment". Therefore Metro has readjusted its earlier forecast, which talked about "sharply rising" earnings.
Majority shareholder Metro, with 79 % of Media-Saturn's shares, now believes EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) numbers will more or less reach last year's numbers. In general, the Metro Group would still reach its own sales and earnings forecast for the full fiscal year.
Group turnover dropped 5 %
The other branches of the German company - wholesale chains Makro and Metro Cash & Carry, supermarket chain Real and department store chain Kaufhof - have struggled as well. Easter was not in the first quarter this year and the expensive euro keeps hampering the group's performance.
That is why the total turnover dropped over 5 % to 33 billion euro (which includes the sale of the Eastern European activities). However, Metro did manage to get a 182 million euro net profit, a nice jump upwards compared to the 20 million from the year before. To put things into context however: the 20 million from last year was impacted from a lot of on-off costs and restructuring costs.
Despite the turbulent times, CEO Koch maintains his profit forecast for the entire fiscal year.