German retailer Metro Group (MTTRY.PK,MTAGF.PK) Wednesday confirmed its strategic realignment for the coming years, with its top priority being increasing like-for-like sales. The company still expects a year-on-year rise in sales for 2012 as well as EBIT before special items roughly at the year-ago level.
Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro AG stated that 2011 was a tough year for the Group and EBIT before special items was 2.37 billion euros, down 1.8 percent from the year 2010.
Earlier this month, while reporting its first-quarter results, Metro said the difficult economic situation and the slowing price increases will most likely hurt sales in 2012. However, citing steps taken by all its divisions, the company expected an increase in 2012 sales.
"We will continue to invest significantly in activities that benefit our customers and differentiate ourselves from the competition. We will also work, especially in the administrative structures of our efficiency and our focus on operational business even stronger," Koch added.
At its Annual General Meeting today, the company said it intends to pay its shareholders, an unchanged dividend of 1.35 euros per share for fiscal 2011.
In addition, the fiscal year of the Group, which currently corresponds to the calendar year will also be changed. The Management Board and the Supervisory Board propose AGM to adopt a new financial year running from October 1 to September 30, effective from 2013.
Metro stated that the agenda of its AGM include the re-election of the current board chairman Franz Markus Haniel to the supervisory board and the election of Florian Funck, a member of the Management Board of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH.
On Frankfurt's Xetra, the shares are currently trading at 23.94 euros, up 0.48 percent, on a volume of 1.3 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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