The outlook is based on the assumption of stable exchange rates without portfolio adjustments. In an effort to further improve the transparency of its operative performance, METRO will in the future report its earnings in the form of EBITDA excluding earnings contributions from real estate transactions. As the restructuring measures stemming from the transformation of the group have been completed to the greatest extent, our future reporting will no longer include special items. Our reporting will also assume a continuously complex geopolitical situation.
For financial year 2017/18, METRO expects to see a slight rise in overall sales, despite the persistently challenging economic environment. We aim for our growth rate to at least match the 1.1% growth achieved in financial year 2016/17. The main growth driver will be METRO Wholesale.
METRO expects the like-for-like sales development to slightly surpass the 0.5% growth delivered in the reporting year 2016/17. METRO Wholesale is expected to make a significant contribution to this growth.
METRO is confident of its ability to significantly improve earnings. We expect EBITDA excluding earnings contributions from real estate transactions to increase by approximately 10% compared to the previous year’s result (€1,436 million) with both segments contributing to the increased earnings.
EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation)
Earnings before deduction of interest, taxes, depreciation/amortisation/impairment losses/reversals of impairment losses on property, plant and equipment, intangible assets and investment property. This measure is used to compare companies that report under different standards.
Business transactions or a number of uniform business transactions that do not recur regularly, that are reflected in the income statement and that have a significant impact on business activities are classified as special items. As a result, the presentation of special items better reflects ordinary business performance and contributes to a better understanding of the earnings position.
The METRO Wholesale segment comprises the METRO Cash & Carry sales line of METRO AG with more than 750 wholesale markets across 25 countries worldwide. The delivery business (food service distribution) is also part of this segment, with companies like METRO Delivery Service and the delivery specialists Classic Fine Foods, Pro à Pro and Rungis Express.
Sales growth adjusted for selling space, reflecting sales growth in local currency on a comparable area or with respect to a comparable group of locations or sales concepts such as online stores and delivery. The figure only includes sales of locations with a comparable history of at least one year. This means that locations affected by openings, closures or material refurbishments during the reporting period or comparable year are excluded.