Dividend and dividend policy
The reported earnings per share (EPS) of continuing operations are €−0.15 (2019/20: €−0.40 for continuing operations). In line with METRO’s dividend policy (payout ratio of 45% to 55% of EPS), there are no planned dividend distributions in financial year 2020/21 for ordinary shares or preference shares. Last year, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board had proposed a dividend of €0.70 to the Annual General Meeting despite a negative EPS in the continuing operations, since the reported EPS including discontinued operation actually amounted to €1.27 due to the positive transaction proceeds (sale of majority stake in METRO China and the Real hypermarket business). Since no significant transaction proceeds were received this year and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause uncertainties, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board consider this proposal to be appropriate.