The country’s second largest grocer Rewe Group’s sales climbed 2.7% to E49.7bn (£42.55bn) in its 2012 financial year.

Turnover rose 2.4% in its domestic market and 3.6% abroad. The group’s store base shrank 1% to 15,538, mainly due to adjustments of the network, particularly for chains Penny in Germany and Billa in Italy.

Rewe Group plans to invest more than E1.5bn (£1.28bn) this year, excluding acquisitions.