Metro to bolster finances to withstand weak markets

FRANKFURT Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:11am GMT

A man walks past the logo of Germany's biggest retailer Metro AG at its cash and carry market in the western German city of Sankt Augustin near Bonn March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

A man walks past the logo of Germany's biggest retailer Metro AG at its cash and carry market in the western German city of Sankt Augustin near Bonn March 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German retailer Metro (MEOG.DE) said it would up its efforts to improve its finances as it sees no relief in the short term from weak consumer spending in Europe that hit profits in 2012.

"Besides measures to enhance sales and efficiency, Metro Group will further intensify its efforts to improve the cash flow and net working capital in the short financial year," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Metro is shifting its reporting period, meaning that it will start a new 2013/14 fiscal year on October 1. That means the first quarter will from then on include the core Christmas trading period, in which it makes most of its profit.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Ludwig Burger)

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