Metro Group has cut its profits forecast for the year after third-quarter sales dropped by 2% to €16bn (£13.8bn).

The German retail group and owner of Makro Cash & Carry lowered its forecast for pre-tax profits growth from 10% to 5%. Achieving the original earnings target meant Christmas trading would have to be “distinctly better than last year”, it said.

Analysts were braced for a lower outlook. “We expect market reaction to be limited as Metro’s new target is in line with current consensus,” said Nomura analyst Nicolas Champ.

In the past quarter, the group reported a 38% increase in pre-tax profits to €614m – thanks largely to a one-off property sale.

Read more
Metro boss Cordes to go next year (10 October 2011)
Light at end of tunnel as Makro halves losses (8 October 2011)