German department store operator Metro has reported a marginal fall in fourth-quarter profit, as against the same period last year.

Sales in the fourth quarter decreased to €15.1bn, from €15.5bn last year. Like-for-like sales grew 0.7%, in comparison with a 0.3% slide last year.

In Metro Cash & Carry, sales were €7.6bn, compared with €7.8bn last year. According to the company, like-for-like sales rose for the fifth consecutive time.

The company’s Media-Saturn generated sales of €4.9bn, up from €4.8bn in the same quarter last year. The division reported like-for-like sales growth of 1.8%.

Real sales fell to €1.9bn from €2.3bn, amid the disposal of Real in Eastern Europe. Sales were flat in Galeria Kaufhof at €0.7bn.

Reported sales were €63bn in financial year 2013/14, compared to €65.7bn last year.

Metro CEO Olaf Koch said: "We achieved our sales target and increased like-for-like sales slightly in spite of the still challeng-ing conditions. Our trend clearly improved in Q4 with like-for-like sales growth in all sales divi-sions.

"We also confirm our guidance for EBIT before special items. With these positive results we have also strengthened our financial power," Koch added.

For the financial year 2013/14, like-for-like sales rose by 0.1%, after a decrease by 1.3% in prior year. Sales amounted to €63bn down 4% year on year. During the period, Metro signed an agreement to sell its wholesale business in Vietnam.

The chain operates around 2,200 outlets in 31 countries in Europe and Asia.