The firm, which employs 300,000 people and has 2,200 stores in 32 countries, said in a statement that its "efficiency- and value-enhancing programme" would increase profits by €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) by 2012.
"As a result of 'Shape 2012' global changes in the workforce structure will be required. In doing so Metro aims to reduce personnel through normal turnover as much as possible," it said.
Last week the firm, which owns supermarkets, cash-and-carry outlets and consumer electronics shops such as Saturn, said that 2009 would be "very difficult year" and that it aimed to cut costs by €1.6 billion. In 2008 it posted sales of €68 billion.