Presentation of opportunities
METRO has numerous opportunities to ensure a sustainable positive development of its business. These opportunities mainly arise from our efforts to align our business to the needs of consumers and commercial customers. Our key goal is to create additional value for our customers. We do so by developing new sales channels and by seizing the opportunities resultant from demographic trends and the increasing differentiation of the mature markets in Western Europe, as well as population growth in developing and emerging countries. We analyse the relevant global and national trends and make decisions aimed at systematically seizing future opportunities and to carve out competitive advantages.
Opportunities from the development of business and political conditions
An unexpected improvement of the economic and political framework conditions in one of the METRO countries or on global scale could potentially improve sales, costs and income performance. METRO operates in a large number of markets where we could potentially benefit from this development. Opportunities could arise from a sustained positive geopolitical and macroeconomic development in Southern Europe and the Russia/Ukraine region – for example in the form of a recovery of foreign exchange rates.
Opportunities from increases in value
Significant potential for additional increases in value may arise from the acquisition of selected companies, particularly in business segments of strategic importance. We see opportunities in the further development of our delivery business and in reinforcing our B2B e-commerce activities.
The existing minority interests held by METRO – for example in start-up companies – offer the opportunity for additional increases in value if those companies were to develop faster and better than expected. We also intend to solidify and expand the leading position our company has already attained in numerous markets. Weaker market players in countries where the macroeconomic situation has deteriorated, for example in Russia or Ukraine, have retreated from the market. We aim to fill the resultant gaps in these markets or acquire individual local outlets where expedient for our purposes. The fact that competitors are retreating from the market may also result in METRO increasing its own market share.
We see additional potential for value increases in possible development projects for our existing real estate assets and an optimised facility management.
Innovations and the digitisation are areas with excellent potentials for realising increases in value. We are convinced that the consistent implementation of innovative ideas relating to the progressing digitisation will increasingly shape the future of the wholesale and retail industry. This may give rise to new business models, which in turn may present a variety of opportunities.
By establishing the HoReCa Digital business unit, we have prepared ourselves for taking advantage of significant opportunities arising from a potentially faster than expected digitisation in the HoReCa segment and other business segments. Our METRO Accelerator programme powered by Techstars is a cooperation project with US-based company Techstars and allows us to monitor trends worldwide and to promote digital solutions for the hospitality, wholesale and retail segments offered by innovative start-up companies.
Opportunities from efficiency improvements
The expansion of joint ventures and cooperation projects could potentially result in reduced operational expenses. An unexpected positive development of our cost base (by reduced energy costs) could deliver further cost savings. In addition to the resolute exploitation of cost reduction potentials, continuous process optimisation measures could potentially have a positive effect on the development of our business if they are implemented in a time frame shorter than expected.