Metro Group, owner of Extra and Real supermarket chains and Kaufhof department stores, has maintained its top position in Germany's retail ranking.
However, the continuing downturn in German non-food retail meant that many chains suffered last year, according to trade weekly Lebensmittelzeitung's list of Germany's top 10 chains by 2003 turnover.
The data, compiled in association with TradeDimensions/M+M Eurodata, showed the biggest gains were made by discount food retailers - Schwarz, owner of Lidl, was the year's biggest winner.
Turnover at Metro was up a modest 0.7 per cent on the year to EUR32.23 billion (£21.43 billion). Rewe kept its number two spot, although it too had a slow year, with turnover up just 0.3 per cent to EUR30.37 billion (£20.19 billion). The Edeka/AVA co-operative was third, up 2.6 per cent, while Aldi and Schwarz came fourth and fifth.