Christmas trading is picking up for retailing giant Metro Group after a slow start for its food and textile business in Germany, with Metro Cash and Carry and Media-Saturn showing record year-on-year growth in December.

It comes at the German business said this morning that it experienced a like-for-like rise in fourth quarter sales for all divisions.

Metro – one of the largest retailer’s in the world – reported a 4% revenue dip to €63bn in the 12 months to 30 September 2014 as it was hit by the political instability in Russia and violent conflicts in the Ukraine.

However, when it adjusted the figures for portfolio changes and currency affects, sales were up by 1.3%, and 0.1% on a like-for-like basis following a 1.3% decline in the previous year.

EBIT before special items was in line with expectations at €1.73bn driven by a “considerable improvement” in earnings at electronics division Media-Saturn.

“We have made significant progress in all business activities by systematically focusing on our customer groups in terms of range, services and multi-channel marketing,” chief executive Olaf Koch said.

“This trend is also reflected in our figures. The fourth quarter was especially outstanding with a rise in like-for-like sales in all sales divisions. In order to keep momentum for this business development going, not only will we proceed in 2014/15 resolutely with the transformation of Metro Group, but we will also intensify those efforts.”

Reported earnings before interest and tax fell €415m short of the total in 2012/13 at €1.27bn because of exceptional items of €454m as the group continued to streamline its operations.

As part of this streamlining process, Metro sold Real Eastern Europe – as well as its Real business in Turkey – significantly reducing net debt by €736m to €4.7bn at the year end. Both the Makro Cash & Carry stores in Egypt were also closed because of a “lack of prospects” and, in August, it reached an agreement to sell Metro Cash & Carry in Vietnam.

Since the year end, Metro has sold its Greek wholesale subsidiary Makro Cash & Carry to local retailer Sklavenitis, which follows on from the disposal of the UK wholesale business to Booker in 2012, as well as its shareholdings in the company in September 2014, in a bid to raise more cash for future investment.

Shares in Metro have fallen more than 36% over the past 12 months, mostly as a result of its exposure to the weak Russian rouble and the terminated stock market listing of a stake in its Russian cash-and-carry operation. Its share price dipped 2.8% this morning to €22.68 following the release of its annual results.

Metro runs cash and carries, supermarkets, a consumer electronics chain and department store chain Galeria Kaufhof.