There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for German retail group Metro: a buyer has been found for supermarket chain Real and profits are higher than expected. Unfortunately, losses keep accumulating at Makro in Belgium.
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The German Schwarz group, parent company of Lidl and Kaufland, has shown an interest in about 100 Real stores, currently belonging to the Metro Group. There are at least five other interested parties, including fellow food retailer Edeka.
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Makro Belgium will receive another 40 million euros from German parent company Metro, but that may well be the final lifeline. The Germans' patience with the loss-making Belgian branch is wearing thin: without a quick improvement the branch may be closed.
German wholesaler Metro has had a mixed first quarter of its financial year 2018/19. While turnover went up slightly (on a comparable basis), profit went down. Western Europe saw strong performances.
Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and Slovak investor Patrik Tkac may be making an offer to take over Metro soon: the two have already acquired portions of the holding behind the Metro and Makro chains.
German retail giant Metro is looking to sell its hypermarket chain Real, in order to continue narrowing its focus on wholesale. Amazon is named as one of the potential buyers.
Spanish discount chain Dia has joined Horizon International, the purchasing alliance set up this year by sector peers Casino, Metro and Auchan.
MediaMarkt's owner Ceconomy has engaged in talks with investment group EP Investment about a possible sale of its interest in Metro, the German food group that also operates through Makro and Real.
German retail giant Metro is satisfied with the results so far in its fiscal year 2017/18, but sees the need to take measures in the difficult Russian market.
French retail giants Auchan, Casino and Schiever have agreed to form a new purchase alliance with German Metro, named Horizon. This new alliance will allow the chains to coordinate purchases both inside France and abroad.
A more professional product range and a return to bigger packages: that is how Makro Belgium wants to return to better ways. Its CEO Vincent Nolf admits the chain is currently "in intensive care", but hopes to see improvement already next year.
Over the past three years, German Metro group invested 205 million euro into its ailing Belgian store chains Makro and Metro, but the results are far from positive.
German Metro managed to stabilize its first quarter profit compared to last year, despite a setback in Russia. It mainly cut costs in its Real restructuring plan.
German food retail group Metro says it has created a solid foundation for new growth in its first year since it stepped away from its non-food activities. The Benelux are still worrisome however.
A raid on Metro’s German main office took place recently, as part of an insider trading and market manipulation investigation. Metro says it is fully cooperating with the investigation.
German Metro opened the very first energy neutral Metro store in Sankt Pölten in Austria. The store implemented all types of sustainable techniques, which result in a store without any energy consumption.