Metro targets emerging markets to boost growth

RETAIL giant Metro is stepping up investment in emerging markets and online after it beat 2010 profit forecasts and said it saw good growth this year, provided the economic recovery continues.

The German group, which runs cash & carries, electronics stores, hypermarkets and department stores, said it planned to open more than 110 new stores this year, mostly in China, India and Russia.

Metro, which had already released sales figures in January, reported 2010 earnings before interest and tax of €2.42bn (£2.096bn) excluding special items, and increased the dividend to €1.35 per share.

But the company warned over the threat to the business from the crisis in Japan and conflict in Libya and instability in the Middle East.

It said in a statement: “It cannot be excluded that market conditions might deteriorate and affect the targeted earnings momentum.”