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Metro Surprises with Higher Third-quarter Earnings

Germany’s largest retailer, the Metro Group, on Friday posted an unexpected increase in third-quarter earnings due to expanding business abroad. Net income rose to 59.3 million euros ($69 million) from 51.9 million euros a year earlier, according to Bloomberg News. “We’ve gotten a good start into the fourth quarter,” Metro CEO Hans-Joachim Körber said. “Our clear investment focus in 2004 will be in Russia outside of urban areas.” As German growth and consumer spending have stagnated in recent years, Metro has looked to increase its international business. The company also abandoned a plan to sell real estate worth billions of euros after it failed to receive acceptable offers.