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Metro expects solid Xmas trading after slow start

[DUESSELDORF] German retailer Metro AG said it expected "satisfactory" Christmas trading despite a slow start to the season in its home market after it reported quarterly operating profit ahead of expectations.

Metro, which already reported sales of 15.1 billion euros (US$18.80 billion) in the final quarter of its 2013/14 fiscal year, said operating profit before special items fell 4 per cent to 418 million euros, beating an average analyst forecast for 369 million.

Metro said Christmas trade had started to pick up in the first two weeks of December after a slow start to sales - particularly of food and textiles - in Germany in November, in part due to unseasonably mild weather.

Metro, Europe's fourth-biggest retailer, said it expected a"slight" rise in sales and earnings for the 2014/15 financial year that started in October despite "the persistently challenging economic environment" and proposed a dividend of 0.90 euros per share.


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