Metro, the world’s fourth largest retailer, has reported flat first-quarter sales but it did post a smaller loss than had been expected at three million euros.
The German group, which runs cash and carries, hypermarkets, electrical and department stores, saw a surprise fall in German retail sales in March and they were down in other western European markets.
Sales rose in eastern Europe, and were strong in Asia and Africa.
Metro, with over 2,100 stores in 33 countries, reiterated it expects 2011 sales to rise over four percent and earnings to climb about 10 percent, depending on a “further improvement of the overall economic situation and the possibility to compensate price increases on the procurement side”.
It has been closing and selling some stores in Germany to curb losses.
Other international retailers like Carrefour of France and Britain’s Tesco have recently demonstrated that strong sales in emerging markets were only partly offsetting difficult trading in western Europe.