German department store operator Metro reported decline in first-quarter sales by 3.3% to €18.7bn mainly due to adverse currency effects in many parts of Eastern Europe and Asia as well as missing sales at its Real segment in Russia, Romania, Ukraine, and Media Markt China.

In METRO Cash & Carry, sales totaled €8.5bn on a like-for-like basis. While Eastern Europe and Asia/Africa reported sales growth, like-for-like sales declined in Germany and Western Europe.

At Media-Saturn like-for-like sales improved against the corresponding period a year ago. In Germany, like-for-like sales were slightly down due to the high prior year base.

The sales development in Western Europe was slightly positive, while sales in Eastern Europe declined. Online sales at Media-Saturn significantly increased by more than 40%.

In Real, German like-for-like sales fell by 2% on account of the relatively high prior year base as well as competitive market conditions, especially from discounters, in addition to reductions in food prices.

Galeria Kaufhof contributed most toward like-for-like sales in Germany (0.8%). The mild weather prevented a better textile sales development, Metro noted.

During the period, the company opened 36 new stores across nine countries, including 10 METRO Cash & Carry, 25 Media-Saturn and one Real hypermarket.

The company closed both Egyptian MAKRO Cash & Carry stores due to tough trading period.