May 9, 2019 / 5:44 AM / 3 months ago

Metro sales fall again in Russia, hypermarkets

BERLIN, May 9 (Reuters) - German wholesaler Metro on Thursday reported another quarter of falling sales at its Russian business and the Real hypermarkets it is in the process of selling, although the rest of eastern Europe grew rapidly.

Metro said like-for-like sales fell by 4 percent in Russia in the fiscal second quarter, as steps it has taken to revive the business such as price cuts took effect more slowly than expected.

Like-for-like sales at its Real hypermarkets, which it records as a discontinued business, fell by 5.1 percent, mainly due to Easter falling outside the quarter this year.

Metro announced late on Wednesday that it is in exclusive talks to sell Real to a consortium led by real estate investor Redos, adding it was taking a 385 million euro ($430.89 million) impairment charge on the loss-making chain.

For the group as a whole, sales came in at 6.8 billion euros, a like-for-like increase of 1.2 percent, driven by eastern Europe. That beat analyst forecasts for 6.7 billion.

Metro reported a loss per share from continuing operations of 0.09 euros, versus analyst expectations for a loss of 0.12 euros. ($1 = 0.8935 euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson Editing by Michelle Martin)

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