Overview of the short financial year 2013 and forecast

Earnings position

  • Sales of METRO GROUP, adjusted for portfolio changes and exchange rate effects, grew by 0.9 per cent to €45.0 billion in the short financial year 2013
  • Reported sales decreased slightly by 2.2 per cent to €46.3 billion (in local currencies: –1.3 per cent)
  • Group EBIT before special items increased to €728 million (9M 2012: €706 million)
  • Profit or loss for the period before special items reached €16 million (9M 2012: €165 million)
  • Earnings per share before special items amounted to €0.03 compared with €0.49 in the previous year’s period

Financial and asset position

  • Net debt declined markedly by €2.3 billion to €5.4 billion compared with 30 September 2012
  • Investments totalled €691 million (9M 2012: €954 million)
  • Cash flow from operating activities improved substantially by €0.3 billion to €–1.8 billion (9M 2012: €–2,1 billion)
  • Total assets amounted to €28.8 billion (30/9/2012: €31.6 billion; 31/12/2012: €34.8 billion)
  • Equity was €5.2 billion (30/9/2012: €5.6 billion; 31/12/2012: €5.7 billion); the equity ratio amounted to 18.1 per cent (30/9/2012: 17.9 per cent; 31/12/2012: 16.3 per cent)
  • Long-term rating of “BBB–” (Standard & Poor’s) and “Baa3” (Moody’s)

Forecast of METRO GROUP

Sales

For the financial year 2013/14, we expect to see a slight rise in overall sales – even though economic momentum will remain below average and adjusted for implemented and announced portfolio measures. We used virtually consistent exchange rates in preparing this forecast.

In like-for-like sales, we expect to see a trend improvement following the previous year’s level of –1.3 per cent and a level of sales that will roughly equal the previous year’s level.

Earnings

In the financial year 2013/14, earnings developments will also be affected by continued below-average economic growth. As a result, we will continue to closely focus on efficient structures and strict cost management in 2013/14.

The announced changes in the real estate strategy will impact earnings. Last year, EBIT before special items of €2,000 million contained income from real estate sales that exceeded typical levels. In addition, the comparative base is reduced by the contributions from portfolio changes. Adjusted for these effects totalling about €300 million, the comparative level from the previous year is €1.7 billion. We intend to markedly exceed this level in the financial year 2013/14. We used virtually consistent exchange rates in preparing the forecast.

Change in the financial year

In the current year, METRO GROUP moved the end of its financial year from 31 December to 30 September. For transition purposes, the current financial year 2013 will be a short nine-month financial year (1 January 2013 to 30 September 2013). The upcoming financial year 2013/14 beginning on 1 October 2013 will represent a normal twelve-month financial year.

In the combined management report, the statements referring to the reporting date of 30 September 2013 are compared with the previous year’s figures as of 31 December 2012 to present developments during the short financial year 2013. For statements referring to the reporting period, the short financial year 2013 will be compared with the corresponding previous year’s period (1 January 2012 to 30 September 2012). Because the figures as of 30 September 2012 are from the Q3/2012 quarterly statement, which was not reviewed by an auditor, these figures are unaudited. In exceptional cases, we deviate from this approach when corresponding prior-year figures are not available or when these do not provide for suitable comparison (for instance, in the event of a high degree of seasonal fluctuation). Deviations are explicitly noted in the respective sections. The prior-year periods are referred to as “the previous year’s period” (= 9M 2012) and “previous year” (= 12M 2012) in the annual report.

First-time adoption of German Accounting Standard 20 (GAS 20)

The new German Accounting Standard 20 (GAS 20) “Group Management Report” was applied for the first time in this annual report. This led to a number of changes to the management report. A new chapter “Management system” was added, in which the key management figures used in the internal management system of METRO GROUP are described. Pursuant to GAS 20, the most important key management figures form the basis for the description of business performance as well as the forecast for the next financial year. This forecast is compared with the actual performance of the most important key management figures in the following year’s report. In addition, new requirements for the risk report, which was also combined with the opportunity report, were applied. Moreover, information additionally required by GAS 20 for various chapters has been provided.

Combined management report

The option of integrating the management report of METRO AG into the group management report was used for the first time in this report. The combined management report will replace the group management report in the annual report of METRO GROUP. It ends with a chapter on supplementary notes for METRO AG pursuant to the German Commercial Code.