METRO was able to achieve strong growth and gain additional market shares in the financial year 2021/22 thanks to the consistent implementation of the sCore strategy despite a challenging environment. Correspondingly, Greubel draws a positive balance: "Last year, METRO took a decisive step towards our ambitious growth targets and we made visible progress in the implementation of our sCore strategy. All in all, we look back on a successful year with a very good business development, in which we reached the upper half of our twice-raised sales and EBITDA outlook and managed to achieve record sales growth of more than 20% in a volatile market. However, due to Russia's war in Ukraine and related extraordinary charges, the positive operating performance was not reflected in the net income and according to our dividend policy we will not pay a dividend. Nevertheless, growth remains our focus in the current business year and the positive business development of the first months confirm us in this respect. The restaurants are well frequented, demand remains high and we at METRO are providing the right answers to our customers' needs with our sCore strategy. I am therefore certain and promise you: We are on the right track with our wholesale strategy and will continue to stay the course!”
Strong growth and market share gains
The consistent implementation of the sCore strategy has led to significant growth in financial year 2021/22, which can be attributed to a combination of rising inflation and strong momentum with strategic customers. Sales in local currency grew by more than 20% and pre-pandemic levels have been far surpassed. A high single-digit volume growth compared to the previous year and additional market shares gains demonstrate that METRO grew significantly in core business, even without taking into account the effect of inflation. All 3 channels (store-based business, delivery and METRO MARKETS) and all segments contributed to this growth. The adjusted EBITDA reached a total of €1,389 million in financial year 2021/22 (2020/21: €1,171 million). Because of better than expected business development during the year, the management board increased the sales and earnings outlook twice, and achieved the upper half of the outlook range for sales and EBITDA.
At the same time, the past financial year was also influenced by various external effects. Rising inflation, Russia’s war in Ukraine and the associated impairments and effects on the Russian currency all had an impact. Furthermore, 3 strategic acquisitions (AGM, Eijsink and Günther-Gruppe) and 1 sale (operational business in Belgium) were carried out.
The net income was €-331 million (2020/21: €-45 million). In financial year 2021/22, METRO recorded earnings per share of €-0.92 (2020/21: €-0.15). The decreases resulted from currency-related negative effects in the financial result (mainly non-cash from intra-company relationships), effects from the sale of the Belgian business (transformation costs, partly cash-relevant) and impairments. Without these impairments, the net income would have increased significantly. In line with METRO’s dividend policy (payout rate of 45% to 55% of the EPS), a dividend distribution for the 2021/22 financial year is not planned for ordinary shares or preference shares.
Elections to the Supervisory Board
The agenda of today's Annual General Meeting also includes new and re-elections to the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board recommends the election of Jana Cejpková, Ph.D., Chief Financial Officer of EP Real Estate, Prague, Czech Republic, and Georg Vomhof, Chairman of the Management Board of Beisheim Capital GmbH and Beisheim Management GmbH, Düsseldorf, to the Supervisory Board. The previous Supervisory Board members Dr Fredy Raas and Dr Liliana Solomon are not available for a renewed term of office, so that a new election is necessary.
Supervisory Board members Marco Arcelli, Gwyneth Burr and Prof. Dr Edgar Ernst will be proposed for re-election at the Annual General Meeting, whereby Prof. Dr Edgar Ernst will only be available for a term of office of one year. Marco Arcelli is CEO of EP Global Commerce a.s., Prague, Czech Republic, Gwyneth Burr is Chair of the Board of Directors of Skipton Building Society, Skipton, UK, and Prof. Dr Edgar Ernst is a self-employed management consultant in Bonn.
METRO is a leading international food wholesaler which specialises in serving the needs of hotels, restaurants, and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent merchants (Traders). Around the world, METRO has approx. 17 million customers who benefit from the wholesale company’s unique multichannel mix: customers can purchase their goods in one of the large stores in their area as well as by delivery (Food Service Distribution, FSD) – all digitally supported and connected. In parallel, METRO MARKETS is being developed as an international online marketplace for the needs of professional customers which has been growing and expanding continuously since 2019. Acting sustainably is one of the company principles of METRO which has been listed in various sustainability indices and rankings for many years, including FTSE4Good, MSCI, CDP and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. METRO operates in more than 30 countries and employs over 93,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2021/22, METRO generated sales of €29.8 billion. More information can be found at MPULSE.de, our online magazine.