German retail and wholesale giant Metro Group has sold its Extra supermarket chain to Rewe Group for an undisclosed sum.

The sale of its 245 Extra stores will enable Metro to focus on growing its Real hypermarket business, which, together with Extra, generated sales of €10.4 billion (£7.77 billion) in five countries in the year to December 31, 2006.

German grocer Rewe will take over the running of the 245 Extra stores from July 1.

The sale will reduce Metro’s balance sheet net debt by about €350 million (£261.5 million).

Metro chairman Dr Eckhard Cordes said: “The sale of Extra enables us to concentrate our food retailing operations solely on Real and thereby focus our resources more effectively on further successful repositioning in Germany.”

Metro also operates a Metro Cash & Carry business in 29 countries.