Accounting principles

METRO AG, the parent company of METRO GROUP, has its head office at Schlüterstraße 1 in Düsseldorf, Germany. These consolidated financial statements as of 31 December 2012 were prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), London. They comply with all mandatory applicable accounting standards and interpretations adopted by the European Union as of this date. Compliance with these standards and interpretations ensures a true and fair view of the asset, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of METRO AG.

The consolidated financial statements in their present form comply with the stipulations of §315a of the German Commercial Code (HGB). Together with Regulation (EC) No. 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and Council of 19 July 2002 concerning the application of international accounting standards, they form the legal basis for group accounting according to international standards in Germany.

The date at which the Management Board of METRO AG signed the consolidated financial statements (1 March 2013) also represents the date at which the Management Board released the consolidated financial statements for publication and passed them on to the Supervisory Board.

These consolidated financial statements are based on the historical cost principle except for financial instruments recognised at fair value and assets and liabilities that are recognised at fair value as hedged items within a fair value hedge. Furthermore, non-current assets held for sale and disposal groups are recognised at fair value less costs to sell as long as this value is lower than the carrying amount. Liabilities from cash-settled share-based payments are also recognised at fair value. In addition, financial liabilities from put options granted to non-controlling interests are recognised at fair value.

The income statement has been prepared using the cost of sales method.

Certain items in the income statement and the balance sheet have been combined to increase transparency and informative value. These items are listed separately and described in detail in the notes.

The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in euros. All amounts are stated in million euros (€ million) unless otherwise indicated. Amounts below €0.5 million are rounded and reported as 0. In contrast to the practice of past years, only the amounts in the income statement, the reconciliation from profit or loss for the period to total comprehensive income, the balance sheet, the statement of changes in equity and the cash flow statement were rounded to produce the respective totals. In all other tables, the individual amounts and the totals were rounded separately. This may entail rounding differences.

The following accounting and measurement methods were used in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements.