- Sustainable sales growth and stable EBIT development in financial year 2016/17
- Dividend of €0.70 per share to be proposed
- Elections to be made to the Supervisory Board of METRO AG
At today's General Meeting of METRO AG, Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG, will present shareholders a solid balance sheet for the first financial year of the new METRO. With sustainable sales growth and a stable EBIT trend, the focused wholesale and food specialist has created a solid foundation for further growth. "Financial year 2016/17 was a decisive year for METRO. We have created the perfect conditions for more growth and innovation. Our clear focus makes us significantly more agile and faster", says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. "To continue to grow, we need to add value for our customers and help them become even more successful. We are convinced that the digitisation of the hospitality industry and the delivery business are key success factors and growth drivers for the future."
Following the demerger of the former METRO GROUP, the new METRO achieved sustained sales growth and stable EBIT development in financial year 2016/17. Like-for-like sales increased by 0.5% in financial year 2016/17. EBIT before special items amounted to €1,106 million, the level of the previous year. A dividend of €0.70 per share will be proposed to the General Meeting in order to allow shareholders to take part in this positive development of the business.
Strategic focal points in financial year 2016/17
METRO Wholesale has continued its consistent focus on the needs and success of its customers in financial year 2016/17. Its delivery business has developed particularly successfully and increased its sales by more than 25% compared to the previous year. The acquisition of French delivery specialist Pro à Pro in February 2017 contributed to this development. In addition, METRO Wholesale has expanded its trader-franchise business into many Eastern European markets over the course of the financial year.
Real has made great progress with its strategic reorientation in the previous financial year. In Krefeld, the sales line has been trialling its Food Lover concept with great success since November 2016. It is intended that this hybrid market concept will be rolled out in additional stores in the future, initially in Brunswick and Bielefeld. Furthermore, selected modules will be launched across a range of stores.
METRO has also advanced its digitisation efforts in financial year 2016/17, for example with its METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars. The programme promotes the development of digital solutions in hospitality and retail businesses. METRO is applying these solutions in around 500 pilot locations in Berlin, Paris, Milan, Barcelona and Vienna to test them for added value and their acceptance by restaurateurs. METRO also launched a digital platform for the hospitality industry in December 2017: it offers digital tools, advice and support as well as a platform for dialogue and knowledge sharing.
Solid start to financial year 2017/18
METRO started financial year 2017/18 with a positive development in sales and EBITDA excluding earnings contributions from real estate transactions in the first quarter, performing solidly in a challenging market environment. Like-for-like sales increased by 0.8% compared to the previous year. EBITDA excluding earnings contributions from real estate transactions rose to €608 million from €565 million in the same quarter of the previous year. Earnings per share improved significantly to €0.64 compared to €0.34 in the previous year.
Elections to the Supervisory Board
The agenda of today's General Meeting includes elections to the Supervisory Board. Independent business consultant Herbert Bolliger has been proposed as shareholder representative of the METRO AG Supervisory Board. He is nominated to succeed Mattheus P. M. (Theo) de Raad, whose tenure of office as a member of the Supervisory Board of the shareholders will end with the conclusion of the 2018 General Meeting. After various positions at the Swiss subsidiary of Bayer AG, Portland-Cement-Werke and the Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund, Herbert Bolliger was most recently the President of the General Directorate of the Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund until the end of 2017. During his 12-year office term, the Migros Group achieved a significant increase in Group sales and took over the discounter Denner and the Swiss online retailer Digitec-Galaxus. He was also responsible for the development of new business areas. Due to his professional background, Herbert Bolliger has extensive commercial expertise, profound experience in the fields of digitisation and sustainability as well as many years of management experience in international companies.