Metro’s EBIT plummeted 20 per cent to €307bn (£260.99bn) in the second quarter due to costs associated with its efforts to restructure the business.

Sales for the period dropped 3.8 per cent to €15.3bn (£13.1bn) because of currency fluctuations in Eastern Europe.

Over the first half, group sales slid 3.2 per cent to €30.5bn (£25.93bn) and EBIT declined from €493m to €392m (£419.1m to £333.3m).

Chief executive Eckhard Cordes said that “in view of the massive economic crisis Metro stood its ground well”, but Metro did not give an outlook for the rest of the year.