Expected financial position
Planned long-term financing measures
For many years now, METRO GROUP has enjoyed exceptional access to international capital markets. No bonds will become due in the short financial year 2013. The next maturity date is November 2013 when a bond totalling €500 million will mature. This bond was issued at the height of the financial market crisis and bears an annual interest rate of 9.375 percent. The repayment will substantially reduce the Company’s interest rate obligations in the financial year 2013/14. A bond issued in December 2012 with an annual interest rate of only 2.25 percent can be used in its entirety to repay the initial bond. METRO GROUP can also draw on lines of credit for use in refinancing. No financing measures must be implemented in the short financial year. Depending on the market situation, taking such steps may be reasonable and possibly meet financing needs at an early stage for the financial year 2013/14, when a bond of €600 million becomes due in July 2014.
Further information about our refinancing measures can be found in chapter "Financial management".
During the short financial year 2013 and the subsequent financial year 2013/14, we are planning to carry out our investments in a focused, flexible manner that is guided by general economic trends. In particular, investments are being planned for modernisation, further development of concepts and the opening of new stores. Today, we expect that investment volume for the short financial year 2013 will fall below the level of €954 million, which was invested in the same period of the previous year. We expect to open a total of 30 to 40 new stores at the sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Media-Saturn. For the financial year 2013/14, we expect new openings to remain roughly at the level of the same period in the previous year.
Expected development of liquidity and net debt
In retailing, liquidity and net working capital are shaped by the importance of the fourth quarter. For this reason, net debt at the end of the short financial year 2013 will substantially exceed the total at the end of the calendar year 2012. Net financial debt after netting of cash and cash equivalents as well as monetary investments with borrowings (including finance leases) totalled €7.7 billion on 30 September 2012. At the end of the short financial year 2013, we expect to see a slight improvement compared with 30 September 2012 that should continue in the financial year 2013/14. In addition, we expect to generate additional liquidity by further optimising net working capital.
In addition, liquidity in the short financial year 2013 will likely be impacted by the effects of the portfolio changes and the acquisition of a stake in Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH.
In addition to its financial targets, METRO GROUP has set a number of non-financial goals. We discuss them in the sustainability report, which is being released simultaneously with the annual report for the first time. The non-financial goals involve 4 fields of activity: “supply chain and products”, “energy and resource management”, “employees and social affairs” as well as “social policies and stakeholder dialogue”.