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Restructuring pushes retailer Metro into Q2 loss

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10:29 CEST+02:00
Metro, the leading German retailer, fell into a loss in the second quarter owing to one-off restructuring charges, it said Thursday in a statement.

Metro posted a net loss of €246 million ($383 million), compared with a profit of €110 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales increased to €16.06 billion.

Last week Metro said it would take more than €600 million in charges in connection with the planned partial sale of its loss-making Real supermarket chain and its clothing retailer Adler.

On Thursday, Metro confirmed its forecast for sales growth of more than six percent this year and for operating profit growth of between six and eight percent, excluding exceptional items. Metro's new boss Eckhard Cordes is revamping operations and also plans to sell the Kaufhof department store chain.

Earnings were provided meanwhile by the group's electronic outlets Saturn and Media Markt, and by the core Metro Cash and Carry retailer.

They saw sales increase by more than 14 percent in eastern Europe and Asia/Africa in the first half of 2008, though sales slipped in Germany. In Eastern Europe, Saturn posted a first-half sales increase of 43.1 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Metro has managed to grow by expanding abroad because household consumption remains weak in its domestic market.

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