Metro Swings to an Operating Loss Ahead of Business Split

By Ulrike Dauer Features Dow Jones Newswires

Germany's Metro AG (MEO.XE) said Wednesday it swung to an operating loss in the second quarter on flat sales, as it readies to split into two narrowly focused entities.

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Metro, which is one of Europe's biggest retail and wholesale groups, kept its full-year targets of slightly higher sales, but said they now apply to continuing operations in the new group structure.

The company's main earnings yardstick--earnings before interest and taxes before special items--or adjusted EBIT, fell to a 19 million euros ($21.2 million) loss in continuing operations in the three months through March. That compares with EUR38 million profit a year earlier.

Sales from continuing operations were flat at EUR5.26 billion, on weaker sales in western Europe outside the German home market, which weren't offset by improvements in Eastern Europe and Germany and rising online sales.

Net profit, adjusted for one-offs, was EUR24 million, a swing from a net loss of EUR57 million. Without adjustments, net profit was EUR131 million. For continuing operations, the adjusted net loss was EUR13 million.

-Write to Ulrike Dauer at ulrike.dauer@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 31, 2017 02:30 ET (06:30 GMT)