FRANKFURT Nov 20 Metro AG expects to significantly improve its cash flow this year, even as profits fall, which may help it to safeguard its dividend payout, the German retailer's chief executive told a newspaper.
"On the basis of cash flow the conditions have improved compared with a year earlier," CEO Olaf Koch told Handelsblatt newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday, when asked whether Metro would cut its dividend.
Metro paid a dividend of 1.35 euros ($1.73) per share for 2011. Analysts on average expect a 2012 dividend of 1.31 euros, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. ($1 = 0.7803 euros) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan)