FRANKFURT, Sept 6 German retailer Metro AG's
chief executive Olaf Koch sees growth potential for
all parts of the group and has no plans to break it up to focus
on its cash and carry business, he said in a newspaper interview
published on Friday.
"I am not thinking about that because I am not a friend of
break-up strategies. I am certain that we can reach sustainable
earnings improvement in all divisions," Boersen-Zeitung quoted
Koch as saying.
Metro, which operates cash and carries, supermarkets,
department stores and Europe's biggest consumer electronics
chain, is in the midst of rationalising its portfolio and
cutting costs to improve its position as well as profits.
Koch said he saw Metro's cash and carries in Germany, of
which he took direct control to manage a turnaround, stabilising
in 2014. He also said prospects for Metro's Real hypermarkets in
Germany were "really good", adding he had no plans to sell them.
To improve its bottom line Metro is also trying to reduce
its annual interest bill.
Koch said a 500 million euro ($656 million) bond issued in
2008, carrying a coupon of 9.375 percent, would not be replaced
when it matures later this year, and Metro will try to refinance
"as little as possible" of a 5.75 percent bond running out next
Koch also said there were "clear signs for stability and
continuity" from anchor shareholders, which include family-owned
conglomerate Haniel, which decided late last year to
reduce its stake in Metro.
($1 = 0.7623 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich)