Initiative that supports start-ups, for example with coaching, thus accelerating the development and implementation of their business ideas. METRO has launched the METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars to support start-ups with innovative technologies for use in the food service, hospitality, catering and retail sectors.

After-sales management

After-sales management refers to all activities of a company that take place after the actual sale of a product or service. This includes, for example, maintenance and repair services, training as well as marketing campaigns to strengthen customer loyalty and increase sales.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC)

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is an international, non-profit organisation that promotes responsible aquaculture around the world. In these efforts, it cooperates with aquaculture and processing operations, retail and food companies as well as scientists. The ASC label recognises products that come from sustainable aquaculture operations. The ASC was founded in 2010 by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).


A procedure that assesses an organisation’s processes and structures according to previously formulated standards and guidelines. Audits shed light on the effectiveness of process optimisation measures. If an audit is conducted by an external auditor, the certificate issued after the review can be used as evidence of adherence to standards

Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)

Founded in 2003, this alliance of European retailers works to ensure that production in all supplier countries complies with minimum social standards. The initiative aligns its standards with the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

The unaffiliated organisation was founded in London in 2000 by companies. It aims to disclose companies’ CO2 emissions as well as their climate and reduction risks, thereby contributing to the transparency of their corporate financial reporting on climate-relevant data. Each year, the CDP conducts standardised company surveys on a voluntary basis.

Commercial paper programme

Ongoing capital market programme typical of money markets that covers short-term financing needs. It facilitates the issuance of commercial papers (CP) as discounted, unsecured bearer bonds without standardised terms of maturity.

Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO)

US-based private-sector organisation that developed and published a standard for internal controls in 1992 that is recognised by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2004, this standard was updated and the COSO ERM (Enterprise Risk Management – Integrated Framework), also known as COSO II, was published.


All measures specifying a company’s and its employees’ behaviour in accordance with legislation, established social guidelines and values.

Corporate Sector Supervision and Transparency Act (KonTraG)

The Corporate Sector Supervision and Transparency Act entered into force in May 1998. Its aim is to create organisational structures in companies that allow for sufficient controls and transparency. At the same time, it intends to create the necessary conditions for ensuring that developments which might pose a threat to the company’s continued existence can be identified at an early stage. The Management Board is required by KonTraG to implement adequate risk management and an internal audit function that is appropriate for the company’s size and organisational structure.

Cost of capital

See: Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC).

Currency effect

The currency effect is calculated by comparing reported sales of the current financial year in euros with sales of the previous period, converted at the average exchange rate of the current financial year.

Disruption, digital disruption

Disruption is a fundamental, revolutionary change of an existing condition. The term is often used in the context of digitisation and describes how digital innovations are replacing traditional models (business models, products, technologies and services).

Diversity management

A central element of HR policy that harnesses the diversity of employees for corporate success in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual identities and potential disabilities.


Short for electronic commerce, the electronic marketing and trading of goods and services over the Internet.


Conditional purchase price payment as part of a business acquisition.

Earnings per share (basic/diluted)

Earnings per share (basic) is the indicator that relates profit or loss for the period attributable to the shareholders of METRO AG to the average number of ordinary shares. Earnings per share (diluted) additionally take into account the effect of so-called potential ordinary shares (for example, stock options issued).

EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes)

This key figure is used for the international comparison of companies.

EBITaC (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes after Cost of Capital)

This indicator shows whether a company successfully uses its business assets and achieves value added that exceeds the cost of capital.

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.

EBITDAR (Earnings Before Interest)

Taxes, Depreciation, Amortisation and Rent) EBITDAR represents EBITDA before rental expenses, less rental income.

EBT (Earnings Before Taxes)

This indicator is used to compare companies, although different taxation systems may exist.

Fair value

This refers to the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability as part of a normal transaction between market participants at the measurement date.

Food Lover concept

See: hybrid-store concept.

Food, non-food

Under the global term “food”, METRO summarises the following categories of goods: fresh foods, durable foods, nutrients, frozen foods and drinks of all kinds, as well as luxury foods, dietary supplements, pet feed, but also detergents, cleansers and cleaning agents, which are sometimes also labelled as near-food. All other goods are considered non-food items.


Also licence sales or franchising system. Contractually regulated form of organisation: the franchisor grants independent franchisees the right to offer certain goods or services using a franchisor's name or trademark.

Free cash flow

Free cash flow = EBITDA reported - Investments excluding finance leases renewals and M&A +/− changes in net working capital.

Free cash flow conversion

Free cash flow conversion = (EBITDA reported - Investments excluding finance leases renewals and M&A +/− changes in net working capital) reported EBITDA.

German Accounting Law Modernisation Act (BilMoG)

The German Stock Corporation Act on Modernisation of Accounting Law (BilMoG) was passed in May 2009. It introduced the most comprehensive accounting reform since 1985. The goal of the BilMoG is to bring German accounting law in line with internationally accepted methods of accounting, while at the same time ensuring greater transparency and lower costs for companies.

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

The initiative was established in 2000 by retail companies. It is the world’s largest organisation for the improvement of food safety. The initiative promotes the establishment of international audits that reduce food-related risks and evaluate food suppliers within that context.


A private-sector organisation that certifies agricultural and aquacultural products. The standard for “good agricultural practice” (GAP) resulted from an initiative of European retail companies.


Principles governing the management and supervision of the different players who have an influence on a company.

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)

A consumer protection system for verifying food safety. It provides a way for companies to monitor critical points and hazards in their production processes. All companies in Germany that manufacture food products are required to apply HACCP. Within the European Union, it is illegal to import and trade products that do not meet the requirements of the HACCP system.


Short for hotel, restaurant and catering businesses. The HoReCa sector is a key customer group for METRO Cash & Carry. Due to their strategic focus on HoReCa customers, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Classic Fine Foods have been attributed to the HoReCa cluster since financial year 2015/16. The new HoReCa, Multispecialist and Trader clusters replace the previous reporting regions of Germany, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Hospitality industry sector

Summary term for hotels, restaurants and catering companies, often referred to as HoReCa industry sector.

Hybrid-store concept

Also referred to as a Food Lover concept. New market concept of the METRO sales line Real, which focuses on the customer and uses the advantages of large-scale hypermarkets. This hybrid-store concept considers rational and emotional wishes and needs of different customer groups, such as fresh, home-made pizza, pasta and sushi, as well as product presentation with more service and consulting.

IASB (International Accounting Standards Board)

An independent international body that developed the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and continues to revise them.

IFRIC (International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee)

This group is part of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (IFRSF) and resolves controversial accounting issues.

IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards)

International rules governing accounting principles. In contrast to the financial statements according to the German Commercial Code, the focus of IFRS is on investor-oriented information.

Indoor farming

Cultivation of fruit, vegetables or herbs in enclosed spaces.

ISAE 3402 (International Standard on Assurance Engagements)

International auditing standard applying to audit reports from service companies that reduces the amount of effort needed to conduct the audit and assists the customers’ audit department.

Like-for-like sales growth

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.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

The MSC was founded in 1997 by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and the consumer goods company Unilever. The non-profit, independent organisation promotes sustainable fishing around the world and awards its environmental seal to fisheries with sustainable fishing practices. These are determined on the basis of special certification programmes.

Market-to-market valuation

Calculation of the fair value of financial instruments based on market prices at a particular point in time.

Mobile commerce

A specific type of e-commerce. In this case, the electronic marketing and retail of merchandise and services are conducted on a mobile device, such as a smartphone.

Multichannel marketing

Strategy of the trade to reach customers simultaneously over several interlinked sales channels, for example over outlets and online shops.


METRO Cash & Carry countries with a strategic focus on both customers in the HoReCa segment and customers in the Trader and SCO segments have been attributed to the Multispecialist cluster since financial year 2015/16. These include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, India, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The new HoReCa, Multispecialist and Trader clusters replace the previous reporting regions of Germany, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Net debt

Net debt is calculated by offsetting financial liabilities including finance leases against cash and cash equivalents according to the balance sheet as well as financial investments. Financial investments include short-term bank deposits and short-term liquid debt instruments.

Net working capital

The net working capital includes inventories, trade receivables and receivables due from suppliers included in the items other financial and non-financial assets. Trade payables are deducted from these items.

New Operating Model

Organisational and management model at METRO Cash & Carry, which was introduced in 2015. It is supposed to foster an entrepreneurial spirit within the organisation by transferring greater responsibility and creative freedom to the national subsidiaries. At the same time, measures geared towards specific customer groups (for example, for hotels, restaurants and catering firms) are cross-nationally coordinated.

Omnichannel retail, omnichannel distribution

A development in multichannel marketing. Combination of traditional store-based retail with e-commerce, social media and applications for smartphones and tablets. Integrating all channels offers consumers a flexible and seamless shopping experience as the channels are holistically linked in all purchasing phases.

Own brands

Developed by a retail company and trademark protected brand products with an attractive best price/performance ratio.

Performance share

Performance-based investment. A performance share entitles its owner to a cash payment matching the share price.

Portfolio effect

Adjustments to group structures are called portfolio measures or portfolio effects.

Previous year

Period of 12 months, usually cited as reference for statements in the annual report.


In the financial sector, ratings represent the systematic, qualitative assessment of creditworthiness. Ratings are expressed in various grades of creditworthiness. Well-known agencies that issue ratings are Standard & Poor's, Moody’s and Fitch.


The Real sales line of METRO AG operates in the food retail sector and, with 282 stores, it is a leading hypermarket operator in Germany.

Retail brand

A company with a completely independent market presence. 2 sales brands can be positioned within a sales line with an identical merchandising concept.

Return on capital employed (RoCE)

This metric indicates whether a company makes profitable use of its available capital, less liquid funds and short-term debt capital.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

The Swiss-based RSPO was founded in 2004 at the initiative of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). It counts among its members non-governmental organisations as well as companies and institutions within the palm oil value chain, including plantation owners, retailers and industrial palm oil buyers as well as investors and bankers. The partners aim to promote the production and use of sustainable palm oil.

Sales line

Part of a retail company that operates stores or markets with a specific sales concept.

Share unit

Unit for performance shares.

Social compliance

The adherence to laws, guidelines, standards, codes and/or social conventions by which an organisation ensures socially responsible operations within its value and supply chains. The aim is to protect the safety, health and basic rights of employees in their own company as well as among its suppliers.

Special items

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.

Start-up company

Newly founded company characterised by an outstanding business idea and a high degree of innovation.

Supply chain

Different processes that contribute to the added value of a company. At METRO, these include logistics, marketing and sales.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Under the title “Transformating of our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the United Nations established political goals that apply to the entire international community. The agenda has formulated 17 main objectives that take into account all 3 dimensions of sustainability: economy, society, environment. METRO is also aware of its responsibility and contributes to the achievement of the goals.

Total shareholder return (TSR)

The total shareholder return is the total return of an investor's share – the investment income plus dividend.


The term “Trader” at METRO Cash & Carry refers to the customer group of independent resellers such as operators of small grocery stores and kiosks, street food vendors, gas stations and wholesalers.

Since financial year 2015/16, the Trader cluster comprises the METRO Cash & Carry countries Moldova, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. The HoReCa, Multispecialist and Trader clusters replace the previous reporting regions of Germany, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

This metric describes the average weighted cost that a company must pay for capital. It is composed of average debt capital costs and average equity costs. The WACC facilitates the measurement of a company’s value.

Wholesale, METRO Wholesale

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.