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Business Briefs

Metro’s earnings rise; German inflation slows; Deutsche Post snaps up delivery firm; Bertelsmann bucks media slump.


German firm Metro hit its targets despite a retail slump.

Metro 2002 earnings, sales up

Germany’s largest retailer, Metro, met its 2002 earnings goals despite continuing weak demand by consumers. Group sales rose by 4 percent to €51.5 billion ($54.9 billion) and earnings per share jumped 10.4 percent to €1.36. Net income rose 11.8 percent to €502 million. CEO Hans-Joachim Köber said Metro expected increasing sales and profits for 2003, however, results could depend on the longer-term effects of the war in Iraq. "Metro Group is determined to grow," Körber said. "We refuse to join the general wailing and moaning about Germany as a poor industrial location. Only courageous action will take us out of the currently difficult macroeconomic situation."

German inflation slows in March

German inflation dropped to 1.2 percent year-on-year in March from 1.3 percent in February. Preliminary figures released by the Federal Statistics Office on Tuesday showed a steep year-on-year fall in the price of seasonal food partly offset a jump in oil prices ahead of the war in Iraq. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased only 0.1 percent in March compared to 0.5 percent in February. The preliminary inflation data are based on figures from the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North-Rhine Westphalia, Saxony and Brandenburg.

Deutsche Post expands in U.S.

Deutsche Post AG, a worldwide logistics firm and Germany’s monopoly postal service, said on Tuesday its DHL WorldWide Express unit would acquire the ground delivery business of U.S.-based Airborne for around $1.05 billion (€987 million). The deal will make DHL the third largest express parcel delivery service in the United States after market leaders UPS and Federal Express. Under the terms of the agreement, Airborne’s airline-related business will be separated into an independent company owned by Airborne’s current shareholders. The deal, subject to both shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to be completed this summer. Deutsche Post also on Tuesday announced 2002 net profit fell 58 percent to €659 million after the European Commission disallowed €850 million in government aid.

Bertelsmann defies global media slump

German media giant Bertelsmann AG on Tuesday posted a sharp rise in 2002 core earnings to €936 million ($1 billion) as cost cutting offset a seven percent drop in sales in a worldwide media slump. The privately-held number five global media group kept net profit broadly stable at €928 million, funding €2.4 billion in writedowns with a windfall from the sale of its stake in AOL Europe to AOL Time Warner. Bertelsmann Chief Executive Gunter Thielen said he expected stable sales and solid growth for 2003.

  • Date 25.03.2003
  • Author Compiled with material from wire services.
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  • Date 25.03.2003
  • Author Compiled with material from wire services.
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/3QZn