METRO sees rapid sales recovery in Q3 2019/20, reported EPS grows to €1.41 (PY €0.32)

05 August 2020
In Q3 2019/20 METRO AG’s like-for-like sales declined by -17.5% compared to the previous year. At the same time, governmental restrictions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic had a noticeable impact on METRO's business development, especially in the first half of Q3 2019/20.

Previous year’s adjustment to continuing operations (without Real and METRO China) and due to full retrospective application of IFRS 16 (leasing agreements)

  • Like-for-like sales decrease by -17.5% in Q3 2019/20 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Clearly positive trend from April (-26.4%) to May (-19.4%) and to June (-6.7%)
  • Trader and SCO sales grow significantly above previous year, HoReCa sales recover quickly and above-market level during the quarter
  • Sustainable turnaround in Russia
  • EBITDA adjusted (excl. transformation costs and earnings contributions from real estate transactions) in Q3 2019/20 at €175 million (Q3 2018/19: €373 million)
  • Profit or loss for the period from continuing operations attributable to METRO shareholders in Q3 2019/20 at €-140 million (Q3 2018/19: €90 million). Earnings per share from continuing operations at €-0.38 (Q3 2018/19: €0.25).
  • Reported profit or loss for the period attributable to METRO shareholders in Q3 2019/20 at €512 million (Q3 2018/19: €115 million). Reported earnings per share at €1.41 (Q3 2018/19: €0.32).
  • Net proceeds of ~€1.9 billion and corresponding debt relief from the successful sale of the majority stake in METRO China and the sale of the hypermarket business
  • Transaction proceeds and stable financial performance strengthen our balance sheet and lay the foundation for dividend continuity

In April, due to the complete lockdown of the gastronomy sector, like-for-like sales decreased to around 75% of the previous year’s sales. With an initial easing of measures in May and a conversion of gastronomy to take-away and delivery offers, the reduction in sales in May amounted to 80% compared to the previous year. Due to the restart of the gastronomy sector, like-for-like sales in June were again at 95% of previous year’s sales. With the start of the resurgent tourism business, at the beginning of Q4 METRO’s total sales came back to previous year’s level. The rapid recovery is primarily the result of the flexible channel offering with delivery and stationary business to METRO customers as well as the close cooperation with customers to overcome the crisis. According to market estimates1, METRO outperformed the market in Germany and in some countries in Western Europe. In addition, the Trader and SCO customers are again continuously growing above the previous year's level and thus also contributing to the positive development. In local currency, sales in Q3 2019/20 decreased by -17.4%. Reported sales decreased by -19.8% to €5.6 billion. In 9M 2019/20, like-for-like sales declined only by -5.0% due to accelerated sales growth before the pandemic. In local currency, sales in 9M 2019/20 also declined by -5.0%. Reported sales decreased by -5.5% to €19.1 billion.

Adjusted EBITDA excl. transformation costs and earnings contributions from real estate transactions in Q3 2019/20 was €175 million (Q3 2018/19: €373 million). The decline in EBITDA is almost entirely due to the drop in sales in connection with government restrictions and a change in consumer behaviour in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. This was offset by cost savings from the efficiency programme in the headquarters and licence earnings from the partnership with Wumei in China, among other things. In Q3 2019/20 transformation costs amounted to €1 million (Q3 2018/19: €0 million). Earnings contributions from real estate transactions amounted to €2 million (Q3 2018/19: €32 million). Taking transformation costs and lower earnings contributions from real estate transactions into account, EBITDA reached €176 million (Q3 2018/19: €404 million).

In 9M 2019/20 adjusted EBITDA excl. transformation costs and earnings contributions from real estate transactions reached €834 million (9M 2018/19: €1,033 million). Government restrictions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the majority of segments. This was offset by cost savings achieved through the efficiency programme in the headquarters, improved earnings in logistics, licence earnings from the partnership with Wumei and a stable development both in Germany and Russia, among other things. In 9M 2019/20 transformation costs amounted to €46 million (9M 2018/19: €0 million). These transformation costs were only incurred in the segment Others and relate in particular to the efficiency measures in the headquarters. Earnings contributions from real estate transactions amounted to €3 million (9M 2018/19: €66 million). Reported EBITDA reached €791 million (9M 2018/19: €1,099 million).

In Q3 2019/20, METRO benefited from the diversity of its business model. Sales with Trader and SCO developed positively at a growth level significantly above the previous year, with SCO sales in the low double-digit figures. SCO customers appreciate the high product quality, product availability and safety. The independent retailers profit from the franchise programmes and METRO’s e-commerce offer. Among HoReCa customers, the preference for the stationary business had a distinctly positive effect during the phase of easing government restrictions. HoReCa customers increasingly visited METRO stores, which led to a disproportionate shift in favour of the stationary business.

Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG, explains the business development: “METRO has so far coped well with the corona crisis despite significant sales declines in the lockdown phase and is emerging from it stronger. At the beginning of Q4 like-for-like sales are back on previous year’s level. Contributing factors included the very pleasing business development in Russia, the channel flexibility with stationary and delivery business, our contribution to the successful restart of the gastronomy sector and the numerous measures taken to strengthen independent retailers. This is paying off now. Sales growth with Trader and SCO is above pre-crisis-level, sales with HoReCa are above market level. METRO has thus marked itself out from the competition at the same time created the conditions for dividend continuity through the successfully completed transactions of METRO China and Real with a net cash inflow of €1.9 billion and corresponding debt reduction.”

1 “Independent Market” from Food Service Vision, DWH, npdgroup CREST Panel, NPD / FEREALALBERGHI / INSTAT

 

METRO Q3 2018/19
(in € million)1, 2
Q3 2019/20
(in € million)
Change
Sales 6,940 5,568 -19.8%
EBITDA adjusted (excl. transformation costs and earnings contributions from real estate transactions) 373
175
-53.0%
Transformation costs 0
1
-
Earnings contributions from real estate transactions 32
2
-94.4%
EBITDA 404
176
-56.5%
EBIT 212
-21
-
Earnings before taxes (EBT) 153
-59
-
Profit or loss for the period from continuing operations3 90
140
-
Earnings per share from continuing operations (€)3 0.25
-0.38
-
Profit or loss for the period3 115
512
-
Earnings per share (€) 0.32
1.41
-

1 Previous year’s adjustment due to discontinued operations METRO China.
2 Previous year’s adjustment due to full retrospective application of IFRS 16 (leasing agreements).
3 Attributable to METRO shareholders.

 

METRO 9M 2018/19
(in € million)1, 2
9M 2019/20
(in € million)
Change
Sales 20,226 19,123 -5.5%
EBITDA adjusted (excl. transformation costs and earnings contributions from real estate transactions) 1,033
834
-19.2%
Transformation costs 0
46
-
Earnings contributions from real estate transactions 66
3
-95.9%
EBITDA 1,099
791
-28.0%
EBIT 528
163
-69.2%
Earnings before taxes (EBT) 351
-36
-
Profit or loss for the period from continuing operations3 205
-135
-
Earnings per share from continuing operations (€)3 0.56
-0.37
-
Profit or loss for the period3 298
391
31.3%
Earnings per share (€) 0.82
1.08
31.3%

1 Previous year’s adjustment due to discontinued operations METRO China.
2 Previous year’s adjustment due to full retrospective application of IFRS 16 (leasing agreements).
3 Attributable to METRO shareholders.

 

Sales and EBITDA development

In Germany like-for-like sales decreased by -9.5% in Q3 2019/20. This is due in particular to a significant decrease in sales with HoReCa customers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While METRO Germany was able to compensate for this decline relatively well through the positive development of the SCO business, Rungis Express was more severely affected by the restrictions. The reported sales of METRO Germany decreased by -9.4%. In 9M 2019/20, like-for-like sales decreased by -1.9%, reported sales also declined by -1.9% to €3.5 billion.

In Western Europe (excl. Germany) like-for-like sales decreased by -32.8% in Q3 2019/20. The effects of temporary restaurant closings in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in France, Italy and Spain as well as at Pro à Pro were particularly noticeable in the first half of the quarter. Reported sales decreased by -32.9% to around €1.9 billion. In 9M 2019/20 like-for-like sales declined by -13.0%. Reported sales declined by -13.1% to around €7 billion.

In Russia like-for-like sales in Q3 2019/20 were clearly positive at 6.0%. An increased demand from Trader and SCO customers had a positive effect here. Sales from HoReCa customers also showed an improvement trend in the course of the quarter, but remained below the previous year’s level. This development can be attributed to the repositioning measures that were initiated a while ago as well as additional purchases in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In local currency, sales grew by 6.5%. Due to unfavourable exchange rate developments, the reported sales decreased by -3.7%. In 9M 2019/20, like-for-like sales increased by 2.5%. In local currency, sales increased by 3.0%. Reported sales rose by 2.9% to €2.1 billion.

In Eastern Europe (excl. Russia) like-for-like sales decreased by -7.4% in Q3 2019/20. Government restrictions had an impact on most of the countries, but were compensated by the Trader and SCO business. In local currency, sales decreased by -7.5%. Due to negative currency effects, especially in Turkey, reported sales decreased by -12.2% to €1.6 billion. In 9M 2019/20, like-for-like sales developed positively with 2.4%. This is mainly attributable to the performance in Turkey, Ukraine and Romania. In local currency, sales grew by 2.4%. Reported sales increased by 0.8% to €5.3 billion.

In Asia like-for-like sales decreased by -19.2% in Q3 2019/20. This was mainly due to the sales development of Classic Fine Foods as well as METRO India and METRO Japan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In local currency sales declined by -18.9%. The reported sales decreased by -22.5%. In 9M 2019/20 like-for-like sales declined by -5.2%. In local currency sales declined by -5.0%. Reported sales declined by -5.7% to €1.2 billion.

In Q3 2019/20, METRO’s delivery sales declined significantly by -47.3% and reached a sales share of 12% (Q3 2018/19: 18%). The delivery business also recovered over the course of the quarter, although, slightly delayed in comparison to the stationary business due to the current customer preference for a higher flexibility when buying in the store. In 9M 2019/20, delivery sales decreased by -15.3% to €2.9 billion. As a result, the delivery business accounts for 15% (9M 2018/19: 17%) of total sales.

As of 30 June 2020, the store network included 679 stores, 2 stores more than on the same date in the previous year. One store was opened in 9M 2019/20 in Ukraine.

In Germany the adjusted EBITDA (excl. transformation costs and earnings contributions from real estate transactions) in Q3 2019/20 was €31 million (Q3 2018/19: €40 million). This decrease is mainly attributable to the negative sales development caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 9M 2019/2020, the adjusted EBITDA amounted to €103 million (9M 2018/19: €101 million). The good sales development in H1 2019/20 had a positive effect here.

In Western Europe (excl. Germany) the adjusted EBITDA in Q3 2019/20 was €18 million (Q3 2018/19: €186 million). This decline is mainly a consequence of the drop in sales in France, Italy, Spain and at Pro à Pro, where the government restrictions on the hospitality sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative impact. Earnings contributions from real estate transactions were €0 million in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €29 million). In 9M 2019/20, the adjusted EBITDA amounted to €245 million (9M 2018/19: €448 million).

Adjusted EBITDA in Russia reached a total of €53 million in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €60 million). The adjusted EBITDA is impacted by currency effects in the amount of €-6 million. The adjusted EBITDA amounted to €177 million in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €177 million). The EBITDA amounted to €177 million (9M 2018/19: €177 million). There was no significant currency effect.

In Eastern Europe (excl. Russia) the adjusted EBITDA reached a total of €75 million in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €96 million). This decrease is mainly attributable to the declining sales development caused by COVID-19, especially in Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland. The adjusted EBITDA amounted to €256 million in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €271 million). Adjusted for currency effects, the adjusted EBITDA declined by €-11 million in Eastern Europe.

In Asia the adjusted EBITDA was €-6 million in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €9 million). This is mainly a result of the development of Classic Fine Foods as well as METRO India and METRO Japan due to the government measures in regard to COVID-19. The adjusted EBITDA amounted to €5 million in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €34 million). Earnings contributions from real estate transactions were €0 million in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €31 million).

In the segment Others the adjusted EBITDA was €6 million in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: -€18 million). Cost savings from the efficiency programme in the headquarters as well as licence earnings from the cooperation with Wumei had a positive impact, among other things. Transformation costs amounted to €1 million (Q3 2018/19: €0 million). Consequently, the EBITDA in Q3 2019/20 was €5 million (Q3 2018/19: €5 million). In 9M 2019/20, the adjusted EBITDA amounted to €48 million (9M 2018/19: €2 million). Income from damages in the low double-digit millions included in the previous year, which was mainly generated in the Others segment, was offset to a large extent by cost savings resulting from the efficiency programme in the headquarters, an improved result of the logistics as well as licence earnings from the cooperation with Wumei.

The profit or loss for the period from continuing operations attributable to METRO shareholders amounted to €-140 million in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €90 million). The profit or loss for the period from continuing and discontinued operations attributable to METRO shareholders increased to €512 million in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €115 million).

The profit or loss for the period from continuing operations attributable to METRO shareholders amounted €-135 million in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €205 million). The profit or loss for the period from continuing and discontinued operations attributable to METRO shareholders increased to €391 million in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €298 million).

Earnings per share from continuing operations decreased to €-0.38 in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €0.25). Earnings per share from continuing and discontinued operations increased to €1.41 in Q3 2019/20 (Q3 2018/19: €0.32).

Earnings per share from continuing operations decreased to €-0.37 in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €0.56). Earnings per share from continuing and discontinued operations increased to €1.08 in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €0.82).

Cashflow from operating activities generated a cash inflow of €0.0 billion in 9M 2019/20 (9M 2018/19: €0.3 billion cash inflow). The cashflow from investing activities amounted to €-0.2 billion (9M 2018/19: €-0.1 billion) and is mainly attributable to investments in property, plant and equipment and investment properties. Cash flow from financing activities amounted to €-0,1 billion (9M 2018/19: €-0.4 billion). Cashflow from investing activities of discontinued operations of €1.3 billion mainly results from the sale of the majority stake in METRO China and the sale of the hypermarket business.

Net debt amounted to €4.4 billion on 30 June 2020 (30 June 2019: €6.2 billion) and was significantly reduced, in particular by the transaction proceeds.

METRO sales and EBITDA figures1, 2 Q3 2019/20

METRO Sales (€ million) Change (€) Change
(local currency)
Like-for-like
(local currency)

Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20 Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20 Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20 Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20
Total
6,940 5,568 -2.4% -19.8% 3.2% -17.4% 3.1% -17.5%
Germany
1,205 1,092 3.0% -9.4% 3.0% -9.4% 3.6% -9.5%
Western Europe (excl. Germany) 2,784 1,869 2.2% -32.9% 2.2% -32.9% 2.2% -32.8%
Russia 671
646 -0.8% -3.7% -3.2% 6.5% -4.8% 6.0%
Eastern Europe (excl. Russia) 1,846 1,620 3.4% -12.2% 7.3% -7.5% 7.1% -7.4%
Asia 427
331 4.5% -22.5% 5.4% -18.9% 3.8% -19.2%
Others
8
11 - - - - -
-

1 Previous year’s adjustment due to discontinued operations METRO China.

 


EBITDA adjusted Transformation costs EBITDA contributions from
real estate transactions
EBITDA
in € million
Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20 Change
(in €)
Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20 Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20 Q3 2018/19 Q3 2019/20
Total 373
175 -197 0 1 32 2 404 176
Germany
40
31 -9
0 0 0
0 40
31
Western Europe (excl. Germany) 186
18 -168
0
0 29
0 215
18
Russia 60
53 -7
0
0 0
0 60
53
Eastern Europe (excl. Russia) 96
75 -21 0
0 0
2 96
77
Asia 9
-6 -15
0 0 0
0 9
-6
Others
-18
6 24
0
1 2 0 -16 5
Consolidation
-1
-1
0
0
0
0
0
-1
-1

1 Previous year’s adjustment due to discontinued operations METRO China.
2 Previous year’s adjustment due to full retrospective application of IFRS 16 (leasing agreements).

 

METRO sales and EBITDA figures1, 2 9M 2019/20

METRO Sales (€ million) Change (€) Change
(lokal currency)
Like-for-like
(lokal currency)

9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20 9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20 9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20 9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20
Total
20,226 19,123 0.3% -5.5% 2.2% -5.0% 2.1% -5.0%
Germany
3,581 3,514 -0.7% -1.9% -0.7% -1.9% 0.2% -1.9%
Western Europe (excl. Germany) 8,038 6,985 1.1% -13.1% 1.1% -13.1% 1.0% -13.0%
Russia 2,044
2,104 -7.5% 2.9% -2.8% 3.0% -3.7% 2.5%
Eastern Europe (excl. Russia) 5,256 5,298 2.2% 0.8% 6.8% 2.4% 6.7% 2.4%
Asia 1,270
1,197 4.6% -5.7% 7.6% -5.0% 5.4% -5.2%
Others
36
25 - - - - -
-

1 Previous year’s adjustment due to discontinued operations METRO China.

 


EBITDA adjusted Transformation costs EBITDA contributions from
real estate transactions
EBITDA
in € million
9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20 Change
(in €)
9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20 9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20 9M 2018/19 9M 2019/20
Total 1,033
834 -198 0 46 66 3 1,099 791
Germany
101
103 2
0 0 0
0 101
103
Western Europe (excl. Germany) 448
245 -203
0
0 29
1 477
246
Russia 177
177 0
0
0 0
0 177
177
Eastern Europe (excl. Russia) 271
256 -15
0
0 2
2 274
258
Asia 34
5 -29
0 0 31
0 65
5
Others
2
48 46
0
46 4 0 5 1
Consolidation
-1
0
1
0
0
0
0
-1
0

1 Previous year’s adjustment due to discontinued operations METRO China.
2 Previous year’s adjustment due to full retrospective application of IFRS 16 (leasing agreements).

 

Discontinued operations

The development of the current business of discontinued operations does not allow for an adequate comparison with the previous year as METRO China is only included pro rata until 22 April 2020 and the hypermarket business pro rata until 24 June 2020. Until this date, sales in Q3 2019/20 developed noticeably above prior year's level both at METRO China and the hypermarket business.

In Q3 2019/20, the result from remeasurement/disposal after tax for the divestment of the hypermarket business and the majority stake in METRO China resulted in the amount of €542 million. METRO China amounted to €943 million and the hypermarket business to €-401 million, whereby the result of the hypermarket business includes mainly impairment losses on the disposal group. In 9M 2019/20, the result from remeasurement/disposal after tax amounted in total to €239 million.

 

METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises on serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 16 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO in addition also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and own businesses with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in retail and hospitality. Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been the European sector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. The company operates in 34 countries and employs more than 100,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2018/19, METRO generated sales of €27.1 billion.