Restaurants, hotels and canteens are reopened in Germany and Europe. And the publicly traded Metro AG, which provides food and services to catering establishments, is again looking to the future with more confidence. This prompted former Würth manager Steffen Greubel, who was CEO of the wholesaler for 90 days, to raise the previously lowered forecast again. Metro now expects a drop in sales. However, with a minus of 0.5 to 3.5 percent, it might be less than feared.
Depending on how things develop, there might even be a small profit before tax (Ebitda) at the end of the year (end of September). After the announcement, Metro shares rose 0.8% on Thursday. Their price level, however, remains well below the 16 euros per ordinary share that the main Czech shareholder Daniel Křetínský had offered two years ago for the full buyout of Metro.
In a conference call Thursday, Greibel referred to a “boom in demand.” For hotels, restaurants and caterers, Metro recorded an increase of 57% over the previous year. In June, revenues in this area even exceeded the pre-crisis level. July has also started well. The operation of the tourism business in the summer will be of great importance to Metro.
Like the retailer, the npdgroup market researchers also calculate with different scenarios in the restaurant industry. In the event that the pandemic remains under control, consumers could spend ten percent more in the region this year than in 2020. But even then, spending in 2021 would be almost 30 percent below the 2019 level. shows the comparison of the periods April 2019 to March 2020 and April 2020 to March 2021. According to the Crest consumer panel, spending here has fallen by 44%.
Greubel said Metro used the lockdown time to provide restaurant owners with digital services. Over three million reservations have been made through a metro app. The new Metro boss was optimistic about his belonging to companies that will be stronger after the crisis than they were before. He is currently working on a new business strategy. Greubel also controls the “country portfolio”. It is not excluded that Metro will withdraw from other countries. More recently, Metro said goodbye to China. Greubel did not say when the new strategy will be presented. It should be ready in January 2022.