Metro Group chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Körber said: 'Due to the good international development and a business above expectations in our non-food divisions, we maintain our earnings per share target. The satisfactory course of the Christmas business gives us confidence for 2005.' The food chains Real and Extra, presently undergoing restructuring, performed less well, with an unspecified fall in like-for-like sales.
Metro Group has 2,445 stores in 29 countries. A more detailed announcement of the annual performance will be made by Metro on March 22.