Initiative that supports start-ups, for example through 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.

Amfori Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)

Founded in 2003, this global business association for open and sustainable trade 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).


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.

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.

Cost of capital

See Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC).

Currency effects

Currency effects result from situations where identical quantities of currency units are translated into another currency at differing exchange rates.

Diversity management

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

Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI)

An index family that measures the sustainability of a company. The measurement is comprised of economic, environmental and social criteria. The measured criteria for listed companies include, among others, corporate management, workforce policy, transparency, human rights, and risk management. Among all sustainability indices, the DJSI family carries a particular cachet in terms of quality.


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


Conditional purchase price (part) payment in the context of a business acquisition, usually tied to a performance target.

Earnings per Share (basic/diluted)

The earnings per share (basic) are calculated by dividing the profit or loss attributable to the shareholders of METRO AG by the weighted average of shares in circulation. The earnings per share (diluted) give additional consideration to the effect of so-called potential shares, such as those issued in the context of stock options.

EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes)

Profit or loss before financial result and (income) taxes. Due to its independence from different forms of financing and tax systems, the key figure can also be used internationally for comparison with other companies.

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

EBIT after the costs of the employed capital (EBITaC). 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)

Profit or loss before interest result, income taxes, depreciation/amortisation/impairment losses/reversals of impairment losses on property, plant and equipment, intangible assets and investment properties. This key figure serves the purpose of comparing companies with accounting systems that follow different accounting rules.

EBITDAR (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, Amortisation and Rent)

EBITDAR is defined as the EBITDA before expenses or income from leases.

EBT (Earnings Before Taxes)

Profit or loss before (income) taxes. This indicator is used to compare companies, although different taxation systems may exist.

EPS (Earnings per Share)

See earnings per share

EVA (Economic Value Added)

Value-oriented key figure that depicts the absolute value contribution of a company created in a single period under consideration of a risk-adjusted interest rate. It is derived from the difference between the company profit after tax and the cost of capital on the average capital employed.

Fair value

Recognised fair value. Amount that would have been received in return for the disposal of an asset or paid for the assignment of a debt in an ordinary transaction conducted between market participants on the assessment 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 and pet food, 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 Mergers & Acquisitions +/− changes in net working capital.

Free cash flow conversion

Free cash flow conversion = (EBITDA reported – investments excluding finance leases renewals and Mergers & Acquistions +/− changes in net working capital) reported EBITDA.

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 started by European retail companies.


Statutory and factual regulatory framework for the management and supervision of a company.


Short for hotel, restaurant and catering businesses. The HoReCa segment is an important customer group for METRO Wholesale.

Hospitality industry sector

Food service, hospitality industry. 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 store 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 the rational and emotional desires and needs of different customer groups, such as fresh, home-made pizza, pasta and sushi, as well as product presentation with a greater level of service and consulting.

IASB (International Accounting Standards Board)

An independent international body with head offices in London, UK, that develops and continually revises the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

IFRIC (International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee)

Committee appointed by the IFRS Foundation and tasked with the development of guidelines for the interpretation of questions concerning the practical implementation of the IFRS. This committee has been operating under the name IFRS Interpretations Committee since 2010.

IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards)

Internationally applicable rules for financial reporting developed by the IASB. Contrary to the accounting rules under the German Commercial Code, the IFRS emphasise the informational function.

ISAE 3402 (International Standard on Assurance Engagements)

A globally applicable standard for the preparation of audit reports for control systems in service companies.

Like-for-like sales growth, like-for-like sales development

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 retail 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 comparison year are excluded.

Mark-to-market valuation

Calculation of the fair value of financial instruments on the basis of market prices at a particular assessment date.

METRO Wholesale Operating Model

Organisational and management model introduced at METRO Wholesale 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 coordinated cross-nationally.

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.

Net debt

The net debt results from the balance of the financial liabilities (including liabilities from finance leases), cash and cash equivalents less financial investments. Financial investments include short-term bank deposits and short-term liquid debt instruments.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Key figure that is used to provide information regarding the performance and customer satisfaction of a company. A standardised customer survey provides rating and feedback from customers or users that can be used to calculate a comparable cross-company measured value.

Net working capital

The net working capital includes inventories, trade receivables and receivables due from suppliers included in the item Other financial and non-financial assets. Trade liabilities are deducted from the total amount of these items.

Non-financial declaration

Includes statements concerning environmental, social and employee affairs, as well as statements concerning respect for human rights and combating corruption and bribery and is prepared for the parent company as well as corporate.

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

Brand-name products that are developed by a retail and trademark-protected 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 referred to as portfolio measures or portfolio effects.

Previous year

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


In the financial sector, ratings represent the systematic, qualitative assessment of creditworthiness. Ratings are expressed in various grades of creditworthiness. Renowned 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 is a leading hypermarket operator in Germany with 279 stores.

Return on capital employed (RoCE)

RoCE is a key figure that indicates the rate at which the employed capital (less liquid funds and short-term debt capital) bears interest at METRO.

Sales brand

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

Sales line

Part of a retail company that operates outlets or stores with a specific merchandising 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 (SDGs)

Under the title ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, the United Nations established political goals that are aimed at the entire international community, companies and private individuals. The agenda has formulated 17 main objectives that take into account all 3 dimensions of sustainability: Economy, Social, Environment. METRO is also aware of its responsibility and contributes to the achievement of the goals.

Total Shareholder Return (TSR)

TSR is a key figure that indicates the performance of an investment in shares under inclusion of capital gains and dividends.


The term ‘Traders’ at METRO Wholesale refers to the customer group of independent resellers such as operators of small grocery stores and kiosks, street food vendors, gas stations and wholesalers.

Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC)

The WACC results from the weighted median of the cost rate for equity and debt capital on the capital markets. The weighting is based on the equity and debt capital components of METRO measured at market prices.

Wholesale, METRO Wholesale

The METRO Wholesale segment comprises the METRO Wholesale sales line of METRO AG with more than 769 wholesale stores across 35 countries worldwide. This also includes the delivery business (Food Service Distribution) with companies like METRO delivery service and the delivery specialists Classic Fine Foods, Pro à Pro and Rungis Express.