As part of its Capital Markets Day, wholesaler METRO unveils its “sCore” growth strategy today. The name is a combination of “score”, meaning hitting the stated targets, and “core” for METRO’s strong wholesale core.
- Wholesaler sharpening its focus on professional customers and expanding its multichannel model. Key measures planned through 2030:
- Functional reorientation of stores for professional customers with focussed B2B assortments
- Increase in share of own brands to over 35% planned
- Expansion of FSD (Food Service Distribution) business through extended use of store space for delivery, additional depots and strengthened sales force
- International expansion of the online marketplace METRO MARKETS
- Improvement of customer retention through scaling of digital DISH products for the hospitality industry
- Expansion of franchise solutions for Trader customers
- METRO aims to outperform market growth and announces medium- and long-term ambitions through 2030:
- Total sales to grow initially by 3% to 5% CAGR from 2022 to 2025, then accelerating to over €40 billion by 2030
- Growth driven primarily by FSD sales, which are set to more than triple, and expansion of marketplace business to more than €3 billion; digital sales to grow to 40% of total sales
- EBITDA to show initial robust growth of 3% to 5% CAGR from 2022 to 2025, rising long-term to over €2 billion in 2030
- Cash investments to increase to as much as 2.5% of total sales annually until 2025, then gradually reduced to a long-term level of up to 1.5%
- Free cash flow is to cover increased investment requirements to deliver the targeted organic growth in the medium term. Long-term, free cash flow to increase to over €0.6 billion in 2030
- The ratio of net debt to EBITDA is to be lowered gradually to the targeted approximately 2.5x by 2025
- Dividend policy confirmed at 45-55% of EPS
In the coming years, METRO aims to step up the pace of its growth, maximise its value proposition and, with its long-term targets for 2030, expand its position as a leading food wholesaler. This is designed to increase sales to over €40 billion by 2030 and EBITDA to over €2 billion. As part of the strategy the company plans to invest up to 2.5% of its total sales until 2025, then gradually reducing this amount to up to 1.5% of total sales. In the long term, the wholesaler intends to generate a free cash flow of over €0.6 billion in 2030.
The growth offensive is based on 3 pillars: sharpening the wholesale focus on professional customers, significantly expanding the multichannel business model and developing new business. This means consistently aligning the range to meet the needs of professional customers. Additionally, FSD sales are planned to be more than tripled and METRO MARKETS' marketplace sales are to be increased to more than €3 billion. Developing new business involves expanding the franchise concepts for Trader customers and further accelerating key account business in the hospitality sector. As a result, the wholesaler’s business model will be strongly focused on professional customers, who should account for over 80% of sales. In addition, METRO will continue to focus on sustainability. The key focal points of METRO’s sustainability strategy are achieving climate neutrality by 2040, avoiding plastic and food waste, and continuing to expand its range of sustainable products.
“Our ‘sCore’ strategy stands for growth in the core business of METRO, food wholesale for professional customers. With our multichannel business model, our franchise concepts and our digital offerings, METRO has the right responses to the changes currently driving the HoReCa and Trader industry sectors. At the same time, our market remains extremely attractive due to its large size, growth and high level of fragmentation. Therefore, METRO will play a role in the upcoming consolidation of the wholesale sector. We already exceeded market growth in recent months with record sales in many countries. Now it’s about consistently rolling out our strategy. Our growth will be mainly organic and financed through the operational business. With our sCore strategy, we are creating added value for our customers and employees, for investors and for society,” said Dr Steffen Greubel, CEO of METRO AG.
Multichannel mix: a win-win for METRO and its professional customers
METRO’s multichannel business model is a USP in the fragmented food wholesale industry and is the beating heart of its strategy. In this model, stores, FSD, sales and digital offerings complement one another and interlink perfectly. Customers that use all channels are especially loyal, with disproportionately high sales.
- The stores remain a key component of the business model because they allow METRO customers a high degree of flexibility in the supply of goods while also facilitating personal interaction on site. Plans foresee sales in the wholesale stores increasing long-term by a factor of 1.2. In addition, wholesale stores should also enhance the efficiency of the FSD business by increasingly using the space for out-of-store delivery in the future.
- METRO will increase the capacity of the existing network, thus accelerating the FSD business. This 2nd sales channel represents the strongest growth lever, makes customers’ jobs easier and is playing an increasingly important role in the hospitality industry. With the planned expansion of the network consisting of out-of-store deliveries and depots, FSD sales are expected to more than triple by 2030 in comparison with financial year 2020/2021. This will only succeed with a strong sales force. Personal relationships are a further important pillar for increasing sales to professional customers. For this reason, METRO intends to expand its sales force and plans to more than double the current 6,500 employees. In this way, the company is investing simultaneously in customer retention and the quality of its consultancy.
- The marketplace is another rapidly growing sales channel in METRO’s multichannel mix. Launched in 2019, the online marketplace METRO MARKETS now operates in Germany and Spain and offers over 600,000 hospitality-industry-related products to professional customers. METRO MARKETS intends to further develop its assortments, expand in Europe and increase marketplace sales 60-fold to more than €3 billion by 2030.
All channels are networked with digital solutions that make ordering for delivery (M|Shop) and in-store purchasing (M|Companion) or the processes of customers (DISH) easier. According to plans, 40% of all sales will be generated digitally in 2030.
Wholesale for wholesale customers: the compass
The basis for implementing the growth offensive is the consistent focus of all processes and offerings on professional wholesale customers. Accordingly, METRO intends to increase sales share of professional customers (HoReCa and Traders) to over 80% by 2030 (currently 66%).
Wholesale for professional customers is industrial, efficient, reliable and professional. This means that assortments, product features, product presentation and packaging will be aligned exclusively with the needs of professional customers going forward. This especially applies to own-brand products. METRO plans to increase the sales share of own brands to more than 35% in the coming years (currently 17%).
The prices are to remain consistently lower than retail levels. This portfolio management is the key to a wholesale focus. It will enable METRO to enhance both its relevance and its efficiency for professional customers, and thus forms the ideal foundation for a successful multichannel business.
METRO key figures
|Key figure||2022–2025 ambition||2030 ambition|
|Sales||+3–5% CAGR||>€40 billion|
|EBITDA||+3–5% CAGR||>€2 billion|
|Cash investments (% of sales)||<2.5%||<1.5%|
|Free cash flow||Reinvestment in growth||>€0.6 billion|
|Net debt/EBITDA||Reduction to ~2.5x||<2.5x|
METRO is a leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments that specialises in serving the needs of hotels, restaurants and caterers (HoReCa) as well as independent traders. Around the world, METRO has some 17 million customers who can choose whether to shop in one of the large-format stores, order online and collect their purchases at the store or have them delivered. METRO also supports the competitiveness of entrepreneurs and independent businesses with digital solutions and thereby contributes to cultural diversity in trade and the hospitality industry. Sustainability is a key pillar of METRO’s business. METRO has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 8 consecutive years. The company operates in more than 30 countries and employs more than 95,000 people worldwide. In financial year 2020/21, METRO generated sales of €24.8 billion. For more information, please also visit MPULSE.de, our online magazine.