Metro expects rapid recovery of the hospitality industry

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The closed down hospitality industry continues to weigh heavily on wholesaler Metro. Over the past six months, turnover decreased another 11.5 per cent. Still, the Makro-owner has a positive feeling regarding the situation.


Worse than last year

The past second quarter was again a negative one for German wholesaler Metro: sales fell by 11.9 per cent to 5.1 billion euros. Especially in Western Europe, there was a "significant decline" of 21.5 per cent, mainly as the hospitality industry was still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is what the new CEO Steffen Greubel, who took office on 1 May, states.


In the German home market, sales fell by 6.9 per cent, while in Russia, there was a striking growth of 4.0 per cent based on local exchange rates. In Eastern Europe, sales in local currency fell by 5.2 per cent, although Ukraine, Romania and Turkey developed positively. Sales in Asia were also down by 3.1 per cent.


Although the coronavirus pandemic hit during the same period last year, Metro's management emphasises that they still had a fairly strong quarter in 2020. It was only "slightly" affected by the corona measures. Therefore, the decline must be viewed in the light of that strong comparative base, is said. Adjusted EBITDA for the period was 114 million euros, down some 5 million euros.


Fast and strong recovery

For the full year half, the figures are along the same lines. Here, too, turnover fell by 11.5 per cent to 11.4 billion euros. Meanwhile, gross profit fell from 659 million euros, previously, to 490 million euros now, but even ends up in the red once adjusted to exchange rate effects. This brings EBITDA to 120 million euros below zero or 20 per cent less than a year ago. Below the line, a loss of 32 million euros is recorded.


However, the sale of Metro China and the group's hypermarket division have been completed, which means fewer costs in the future. Greubel is also counting on a full reopening of the hospitality sector between June and August and expects a "quick and solid recovery" of the industry. 


"Although we are currently dealing with a challenging environment, our positive long-term vision for the industry remains unchanged," said chief operating officer Rafael Gasset. He is convinced that Metro is well positioned in this regard and has a strong financial profile.