for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

UPDATE 1-Germany's Metro sells nine Greek cash-and-carry stores

* Greek unit has enterprise value of 65 mln euros

* Deal frees funds to invest in wholesale elsewhere, cut debt

* Metro recently sold Vietnam business, exited Denmark (Adds details, background)

BERLIN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - German retailer Metro AG is selling its Greek cash-and-carry business to local chain Sklavenitis as part of the sprawling group’s effort to focus on core markets.

The sale involves nine wholesale stores and real estate with an enterprise value of 65 million euros ($81 million), Metro said, adding that it does not expect an effect on earnings before interest and taxation in its 2014/15 financial year.

Metro said the deal, which it expects to complete in the first half of next year, would help the group to invest in the growth of its wholesale business in other countries and in digital projects, as well as strengthen its balance sheet.

The company’s Greek cash-and-carry business was launched in 1992 and generated sales of 301 million euros in 2012/13.

Sklavenitis is one of Greece’s leading retailers, with about 110 stores that achieved turnover of 1.2 billion euros in 2013.

Metro, Europe’s fourth-biggest retailer with 2,200 outlets in 31 countries, has been trimming its portfolio to focus on its consumer electronics outlets and cash-and-carry stores in key markets.

It recently announced the sale of its cash-and-carry business in Vietnam and its stake in British wholesale company Booker, as well as a withdrawal from the Danish market.

The company was forced to delay a stock market listing of a stake in its Russian cash-and-carry operation in March because of market turmoil over the Ukraine crisis. (1 US dollar = 0.8051 euro) (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Goodman)

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up