BERLIN, May 31 (Reuters) - German retailer Metro, which plans to split into two companies, reported a loss at its consumer electronics business on Wednesday as it invested heavily in IT, while its food business was helped by a stronger Russian rouble.
Metro changed the way it presents its figures due to a plan to split off the cash and carry wholesale business along with Real hypermarkets from consumer electronics group Media-Saturn by the middle of the year, pending legal challenges.
Metro said the consumer electronics group - to be renamed Ceconomy - made a loss before interest and taxation before special items of 19 million euros ($21.23 million) in the January to March quarter, missing a forecast for a profit of 24 million euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales at Ceconomy were down 0.5 percent to 5.258 billion euros, while they rose 2.4 percent to 8.5 billion at the cash and carry and Real unit, helped by the stronger rouble and acquisitions including the Pro a Pro group in France. ($1 = 0.8951 euros) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Edward Taylor)