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Feb 3 (Reuters) - German retailer Metro, which plans to split into two companies later this year, reported slightly worse-than-expected profit in the critical Christmas quarter, hurt by weak earnings development at its Cash & Carry and Real units.
Metro said earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) before special items fell 0.8 percent to 821 million euros. Analyst on average expected 829 million euros.
The company's sales for the first quarter ending Dec. 31 rose 0.1 percent on a like-for-like basis.
Metro confirmed its forecast for the 2016/17 fiscal year for a slight rise in overall sales and a slight improvement in EBIT before special items. (Reporting by Sylwia Lasek; Editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan)