Metro says pulls Media-Saturn out of China

FRANKFURT Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:02am GMT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German retailer Metro (MEOG.DE) announced the end to its consumer electronics plans in China as it reported a 0.5 percent rise in fourth quarter sales, following a subdued start to the Christmas trading period.

Metro said it would be setting aside provisions for the withdrawal of its Media-Saturn chain of electricals stores from China, where tough price competition means it is hard to make a profit.

"This decision was prompted by the experiences and forecasts from the two-year test phase that expired at the end of December," Metro said on Wednesday.

News of the plans, first revealed by Reuters, had pushed Metro shares higher last week.

In its customary post-Christmas trading statement, the group reported fourth-quarter sales of 19.4 billion euros (16.1 billion pounds), giving a full-year total of 66.7 billion, slightly below analysts' forecasts in a Reuters poll.

Analysts had expected the group to report a 1.9 percent rise in fourth-quarter sales to 19.62 billion euros, while the consensus for full-year sales was for 67.0 billion, compared with a revised 65.9 for 2011.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan)

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