3.2 Asset, financial and earnings position
Overall statement by the Management Board of METRO AG on the business development and situation of METRO
In financial year 2018/19, the growth of the global economy was noticeably slower than in the same period of the previous year, but was still clearly positive overall. From a regional perspective, Western European countries in particular recorded lower growth rates, while the Eastern European and Asian regions continued to show steady growth despite falling short of the previous year’s level.
However, the Management Board can look back on a successful financial year in which great progress was made in implementing the transformation strategy and sales growth was accelerated. In the outlook view, in particular Eastern Europe (excluding Russia), Western Europe (excluding Germany) and Asia contributed to the good development. Growth was also shaped by expansion of the core business, wholesale. The consistent focus on the 2 core customer groups HoReCa (hotels, restaurants and catering companies) and Traders (independent retailer) also made a noticeable contribution to the good sales trend.
EBITDA developed in line with expectations. Accordingly, the Management Board is satisfied with the development of the business as a whole, especially with the good earnings performance in Western Europe and Asia. Earnings per share for continuing operations including METRO China increased from €1.22 to €1.44. Accordingly, an attractive dividend will also be proposed to shareholders for financial year 2018/19.
In October 2019, METRO signed an agreement to sell a majority stake in METRO China to Wumei. As a result of the sale, METRO China is reported as a discontinued operation as of 30 September 2019 in accordance with IFRS 5.
Unless expressly stated otherwise, all presentations in the combined management report refer to continuing operations (excluding the hypermarket business and excluding METRO China).
Only the comparison of the outlook with actual business developments as well as the dividend proposal refer to the outlook issued for 2018/19 which includes METRO China.