• Real management has laid the foundations for long-term success in key business areas
• Solid base for independent future – future potential for new owners
• METRO to focus exclusively on wholesale business going forward
Through its realignment over the past years, Real has laid the foundations for an independent future in the German food retail segment. Against this backdrop, the management of METRO today decided to initiate a systematic divestment process of Real and all associated business activities. Real currently operates 282 supermarkets in Germany, employs around 34,000 staff and has an attractive real estate portfolio of 65 locations.
Since 2015, Real management, together with the METRO Executive Board, has revitalized the stationary business and systematically advanced the development of its online business. This has paved the way for successful growth:
• The market hall concept, which has already been successfully tested at the flagship Krefeld location for around two years, will be implemented in Braunschweig in October 2018 and in Bielefeld next year. The modular implementation of this concept has already taken place in 19 stores since the end of last year, with noticeable effects on frequency and sales. In total 30 stores have already been modernized since 2017.
• real.de's online business has developed into a dynamic growth driver. GMV sales on this internet platform are expected to grow to over €380 million in 2018, which corresponds to growth of almost 90% over the previous year. With 12 million products available in its online shop, real.de now has one of the largest digital marketplace offerings in Germany.
• With the implementation of the new tariff model, Real has created the basis for competitive cost structures. Around 2,000 new employees have already been hired since the introduction of the new model. This underlines that Real is an attractive employer in food retailing.
• Real has bundled central functions under the RTG umbrella, making it possible to create significant synergy effects through volume bundling, best prices and united administrative functions. This has helped in realizing more favourable cost structures. RTG now comprises seven member companies.
Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO, said: "Real has made significant progress in its transformation over the past three years. The foundation for a successful independent future have been laid. METRO is thus focusing entirely on wholesale. We will further intensify and expand our focus on professional customers in order to tap the enormous potential." Patrick Müller-Sarmiento, Co-CEO of Real, commented: "Together with our employees, we have shown that we can inspire customers with attractive and modern retail concepts such as the market hall, our 30 new weekly markets and digital platforms and grow the business as a result. Now we begin the next chapter in the development of Real." Henning Gieseke, Co-CEO of Real, added: "In recent years, we have taken the entrepreneurial initiative and completely restructured our business for our customers. The basis for an independent future has been built. We are convinced of the potential of our company and its development opportunities. Real also has a valuable real estate portfolio." METRO will now start a sales process to conduct a thorough examination of the various options, supported by advisors.
Note to editors: Since METRO AG has only just started the process, it is not possible for the press offices of METRO and Real to answer specific questions about individual Real locations. We will not provide any information on potential interested parties at this time.
METRO is a leading international specialist company in the wholesale and food retail sector. The company is active in 35 countries and has more than 150,000 employees worldwide. In financial year 2016/17, METRO generated approximately €37 billion in revenue. The company supplies customised solutions for the local and international needs of its wholesale and retail clients. Its sales brands METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry and Real and its delivery services and digitalisation initiatives, METRO is setting standards for the future in terms of its customer focus, digital solutions and sustainable business models.