The year in review

Selected events during financial year 2014/15

Q1 2014/15

Real launches new own brand

5/10/2014 – More than 150 articles from the new Sôi own-brand range of cosmetics will be on sale in the future in all hypermarkets. The assortment includes shampoo, face cream, aftershave and shower gel. For more exclusive care products, Real also offers its new line Sôi Suprême.

Deutsche Tafeln: METRO GROUP remains principal sponsor

16/10/2014 – METRO GROUP extends its sponsoring agreement with the German food bank association, Bundesverband der Deutschen Tafeln e. V., until the end of 2017. The company has been supporting the German food bank movement, which helps socially and financially disadvantaged people with food donations, since 2006.

International purchasing partnership agreed upon

23/10/2014 – METRO GROUP and the French retail company Auchan will join forces at a global level in the future in negotiating terms and prices with the most important suppliers of brand products. The international purchasing partnership will also manage the joint worldwide procurement of non-food products sold by both companies as own-brand products. The agreement, which both parties expect will generate further growth and benefits for the customers, will come into force in November 2014.

Sale of the wholesale business in Greece

25/11/2014 – The retail trader Sklavenitis purchases the operating business of MAKRO Cash & Carry in Greece, comprising nine wholesale stores as well as the related property portfolio. The total value of the transaction, to be concluded in January 2015, amounts to €65 million.

Express delivery service expanded

25/11/2014 – Just in time for the Christmas business, Media-Saturn expands its offer for same-day delivery. From this date on, customers in 22 German cities have the possibility to have their online orders delivered the same day. The offer is available in around 80 Media Markt and Saturn stores.

Share in Emmas Enkel

12/12/2014 – New shareholder in Emmas Enkel: METRO GROUP acquires a 15 per cent share in the Düsseldorf-based start-up that combines local supply with online food retail. Emmas Enkel is starting at two locations, in Düsseldorf and Essen.

Permaculture products

15/12/2014 – Real is the first German retail company to offer Spanish avocados grown using permaculture methods. Permaculture is a development in organic farming. It creates cultivation areas without wasting resources or endangering habitats in the process. It also uses no additives, artificial fertilisers or other means of optimising industrial production.

Withdrawal from Denmark

31/12/2014 – As announced, METRO Cash & Carry closes its five wholesale stores in Denmark at the end of 2014 and thus withdraws from the Danish market.

Q2 2014/15

Online shops on Ebay

9/1/2015 – With immediate effect, members of Ebay, the online marketplace, will find a comprehensive range of over 50,000 electronic items in the Ebay web shops of Media Markt and Saturn. Through its cooperation with Ebay, Media-Saturn is tapping into a new sales channel through which millions of potential customers can be reached.

Change on the Supervisory Board I

20/2/2015 – Gwyn Burr joins the Supervisory Board of METRO AG. The former manager at the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain takes the place of Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who moved to the British Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in summer 2014.

Outstanding traceability

25/2/2015 – Since summer 2014, METRO Cash & Carry has offered its commercial customers the possibility to obtain information on the species, origin and catching method of fish and meat products using a smartphone application. The basis is a technology developed by METRO SYSTEMS in cooperation with the standardisation organisation GS1 Germany. The solution has received the Retail Technology Award Europe (reta) from the EHI Retail Institute in recognition of its outstandingly innovative use of information technology in retailing.

50 years of Real

23/3/2015 – The Real sales line is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Following kick-off events in stores and at the headquarters, the hypermarkets are offering their customers discounts and special weeks focused on the topics of freshness, variety and innovation over the course of the whole year.

Q3 2014/15

Contactless payment at Real

13/4/2015 – Together with other retailers and all German mobile service providers, Real launches the NFC City Berlin initiative. The abbreviation stands for near field communication, a technology that enables contactless payment with smartphones. Within the project, Real is equipping the checkouts at its seven Berlin stores with 140 NFC-capable terminals. This means that customers with a correspondingly equipped smartphone can now make contactless payment.

Merchandise settlement

23/4/2015 – The two sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real are further expanding their cooperation with MARKANT Handels- und Industriewaren-Vermittlungs AG. In the future, settlement for all merchandise transactions in Germany will be handled by MARKANT.

Kick-off for start-up programme

27/4/2015 – METRO Cash & Carry and the international start-up network Techstars are launching the application phase for the Techstars METRO Accelerator. For their business promotion programme, the two partners are looking for start-ups engaged in the development of digital and technological innovations for the hospitality sector. Experienced mentors are available to assist eleven selected business founders in developing their ideas and making them ready for the market. The three-month programme will begin on 12 October 2015; the start-ups will present their solutions to potential investors at the end of January 2016.

Online job network for hospitality professionals

27/4/2015 – METRO GROUP is participating in Culinary Agents, an American job network that specialises in the placement of qualified personnel in the food service and hotel sectors. Within the scope of its cooperation with METRO Cash & Carry, the company is also offering this service in Italy and France for the first time in 2015.

METRO merges brands

4/5/2015 – METRO Cash & Carry unifies its brand presence. The C+C Schaper brand, which has belonged to the group since 1996, will be subsumed into the METRO GASTRO brand. The new name underlines the focus on customers in the hospitality sector, who will continue to benefit from short journeys, speedy checkout processes and optimal product assortments. The first METRO GASTRO stores will open following extensive renovations in August 2015.

New Operating Model

7/5/2015 – METRO Cash & Carry changes its organisational structure. To foster an entrepreneurial spirit within the organisation, a new management model introduced on 1 July 2015 transfers greater responsibility and creative freedom to the national subsidiaries. At the same time, measures geared towards specific customer groups (for example, for hotels, restaurants and catering businesses) will be cross-nationally coordinated.

Extension of contract on the Management Board

12/5/2015 – Pieter Haas will remain a member of the Management Board of METRO AG for another three years. This has been decided by the Supervisory Board of METRO AG. His new term of office will run from1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019.

Real joins textile alliance

2/6/2015 – Together with other companies and the leading bodies of the retail and textile industries, Real is joining the alliance for sustainable textiles, which was set up by the German government in 2014. The goal of the cooperation partners is to improve the social and environmental standards in the textile production and supply chain.

Sale of Galeria Kaufhof

15/6/2015 – Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) and METRO GROUP reach an agreement on the sale of Galeria Kaufhof. According to the agreement, HBC will acquire the German and Belgian department store business for a transaction price of €2,825 million, including the assumption of various liabilities. Apart from the sale price and the sound financing arrangements, another crucial factor for the conclusion of the deal was a binding commitment by HBC to take over the roughly 21,000 employees of Galeria Kaufhof. The transaction was completed in September 2015.

Changes to the Management Board

15/6/2015 – Pieter C. Boone is appointed as a new member of the Management Board of METRO AG, effective as of 1 July 2015. His appointment will run until 30 June 2018. At the same time, he is appointed CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. Until the end of the financial year on 30 September 2015, he will share this position with Olaf Koch so as to ensure a smooth transition of duties. Olaf Koch will then once again focus more strongly on his role as Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG.

Award for animal welfare commitment

16/6/2015 – The British animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming recognises Real’s commitment with two awards: the sales line is awarded a “Good Rabbit Commendation” for the implementation of a supplementary supplier agreement for rabbit farming. Real is also honoured with a “Good Egg Award”, as more than 80 per cent of its own-brand products with relevant egg contents are made using eggs from alternative forms of animal husbandry.

Q4 2014/15

Property transaction completed

22/7/2015 – Carlton Investment, a joint venture enterprise, acquires a 60 per cent share in a property portfolio of METRO PROPERTIES comprising ten Real hypermarkets. METRO GROUP’s property subsidiary will retain a share of 40 per cent. The partners plan to successively raise the value of the assets through building alterations and extensions.

Media-Saturn pools digital activities

3/8/2015 – Media-Saturn plans to pool its comprehensive offering of music, films and TV series, e-books, computer games and software under the JUKE brand, which previously only covered the music streaming service launched in 2011. In so doing, the sales line will now offer its customers in Germany a new digital entertainment portal. Customers now have the possibility to take out a streaming subscription for music or buy or rent individual media. JUKE is available on standard terminal devices, such as smartphones using the Android or iOS operating system.

Takeover of Classic Fine Foods group

6/8/2015 – METRO GROUP acquires the Classic Fine Foods group (CFF), headquartered in Singapore. The company supplies premium hotels, restaurants and catering businesses with high-quality foods. Through the purchase, METRO GROUP is strengthening the skills and knowledge of METRO Cash & Carry in the field of direct food delivery. CFF has a presence in a total of 25 predominantly Asian cities in 14 countries. The aim is to expand CFF’s delivery business to selected European markets in which METRO Cash & Carry already operates.

Media-Saturn expands service portfolio

14/8/2015 – Media-Saturn acquires a 90 per cent stake in the repair and service provider RTS. The company’s range of activities includes the installation, inspection, maintenance and repair of electronic products such as household appliances, smartphones or TV sets. The takeover enables Media-Saturn to increase the range of services it offers the consumers. The closing will take place in October 2015.

Change on the Supervisory Board II

5/9/2015 – Jürgen B. Steinemann is appointed to the Supervisory Board by court order as successor to Dr Wulf H. Bernotat. In the interests of succession planning, Supervisory Board Chairman Franz Markus Haniel has decided that he will step down from his post following the Annual General Meeting in February 2016. Jürgen B. Steinemann will be proposed as his successor.

Strategic partnership with Alibaba

8/9/2015 – From now on, Chinese consumers will be able to buy German brand products and own-brand articles from the sales lines of METRO GROUP online via the Tmall platform. This has been made possible by a strategic cooperation concluded between the retailer and the Alibaba Group, the leading online and mobile commerce enterprise in China. The partners are also collaborating in the field of cross-border logistics in order to ensure an adequate supply of German goods in China.

Industry leader on sustainability indices

16/9/2015 – In 2015, METRO GROUP has once again qualified for a place among the world’s leading group of sustainably operating companies and is listed both in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe (DJSI Europe) Index. METRO GROUP is also, for the first time in its history, the best company in the retail sector and was named industry leader in the category Food and Staples Retailing.

METRO GROUP modernises logistics network

18/9/2015 – The retail group invests a sum in the high double-digit million euro range in a new Germany-wide logistics network. In the future, logistics services will be provided by one expanded as well as three new logistics centres as opposed to the seven locations that have been used until now. The aim is, through greater centralisation of the product flows, to enhance product availability and product quality for the METRO Cash & Carry and Real sales lines and to handle an altogether greater volume. The new sites are scheduled to be integrated into the network by mid‑2018.