Rewe Group posted record sales of more than €50bn (£45bn) in 2009 but EBITA plummeted 27% to around €520m (£464m), according to German trade paper Lebensmittel Zeitung.

Rewe’s grocery arm was seen as the “real winner of the crisis” in Germany, while its DIY stores and cash-and-carry operations were reported to be ailing.

The integration of 330 Plus stores - acquired from Tengelmann - into its discounter operation Penny improved top line growth. Rewe will invest E1.4bn (£1.26bn) in its store network in 2010, down 13% on last year.