METRO is not doing badly, but suffers from Belgium. The most

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Wholesaler METRO has sold more than a quarter more in the past three months, thanks to growth in the hospitality sector. However, the quarter ended in the red, not least because of Belgium. Several attempts to restructure and reposition the METRO and Makro chains have failed; The Makro chain in particular is struggling with huge costs and an outdated concept, according to RetailDetail.

The turnover increased – in local currency – by 27.2%, up to 7.9 billion euros. The wholesale group is “growing significantly across all channels and segments, selling more goods and achieving notable business success in countries,” says CEO Steffen Greubel.

In France, Croatia, Poland and Romania, METRO even had the best quarter in its history. Turkey, however, saw the strongest increase in sales, mainly due to inflation, while in Ukraine sales fell by 36.9% due to the war.

Western European countries – excluding Germany – saw a 31.7% increase in sales, with double-digit growth in almost all countries.

In Italy, METRO launched its online marketplace last quarter, which is taking an increasing share of sales. Online turnover rose by just under 50% to €18 million, while delivery sales increased by 64.4% to €1.8 billion. However, sales in stores also increased by 18.7% to 6.1 billion euros.

136 million to get rid of Belgium

Although in adjusted EBITDA figures the business grew from 310 million euros last year to 441 million euros today, the wholesaler ended the quarter with a loss. Belgium was the major culprit as the sale of Makro and METRO in Belgium cost the group €136 million. In addition, strong negative currency effects – such as the collapse of the ruble – cost the company a total of 400 million euros. This resulted in a net loss of 290 million euros.

For the remainder of the year, METRO continues to believe it will keep pace with its positive outlook despite “turbulence in global markets.”

“Challenges such as inflation and energy and commodity availability are currently at the top of our agenda and we are proactively managing these issues,” says Greubel, as quoted by Retail Detail.