• H1 net profit before special items down by third
  • Sales up 0.1% after acceleration in Q2
  • Results followed cut to FY sales forecast 

The chief executive of Metro Group said today (2 August) the German retailer "held up well" during the first half of the year after the company posted a set of mixed results.

Metro, which runs over 2,100 stores in 33 countries, saw its half-year net profit before special items fall by more than a third from EUR127m (US$180.1m) to EUR83m. Including special items, Metro's net profit dipped from EUR59m to EUR54m.

However, the net profit attributable to Metro's shareholders, including special items, increased from EUR27m a year ago to EUR37m in the first six months of 2011.

The retailer reported EBIT before special items of EUR452m, a fall of 3.8%. However, adjusted for special items, the company's EBIT was up 11.1% at EUR410m.

Metro saw its sales climb 0.1% to EUR31.3bn after its sales accelerated in the second quarter of the year.

"Despite unfavourable conditions, Metro Group held up well," Dr Eckhard Cordes, the retailer's CEO, said.

However, Metro yesterday cut its forecast for annual sales. The retailer, which had expected sales to climb by more than 4% in 2011, blamed challenging economic conditions in Europe. The company now sees its sales reaching, at worst, last year's level of EUR67.3bn, or, at best, climbing 4%.