German retail giant Metro Group booked a 3.6% fall in sales today (12 January), hurt by the negative impact of foreign exchange rates.

In the year to 31 December, Metro's sales in local currency terms grew by 0.2%. However, when measured in Euros, revenue fell 3.6% to EUR65.5bn (US$95m).

"In spite of the global economic and financial crisis, 2009 was all in all a satisfactory year for Metro Group," said CEO Dr Eckhard Cordes.

"We were able to further strengthen our market positions in many countries during this unprecedented year of crisis."

In 2009, sales in Germany remained "unchanged", the firm said. Sales dropped 0.6% to EUR26.5bn.

In Western Europe, excluding Germany, sales dropped to EUR20.9bn, which the company said were "only slightly below" the prior year's level.

In Eastern Europe, full-year sales declined "significantly" by 12.8% to EUR15.8bn.

In Asia and Africa, however, Metro sales grew by 4.7% to EUR2.3bn with currency effects in this region "positive".

Sales from Metro's Real hypermarkets declined by 2.9% to EUR11.3bn. However, adjusted for currency effects, Real sales grew by 1.3%.

Sales at Metro Cash & Carry, the retailer's wholesale arm, fell by 7.6%. In like-for-like terms, sales fell by 4.9%.

Metro didn't provide an outlook for its 2009 profits, which are due 23 March, but said EBIT will be in line with market expectations.