German retail giant Metro said Tuesday it remained in the red in the second quarter as a result of the current recession in a number of key European markets but confirmed its full-year outlook.
Metro, which had already sustained a loss in the first three months of this year, said in a statement it booked a net loss of 20 million euros ($25 million) in the April-June period.
Analysts had been projecting a return to profit in the second quarter.
Sales edged up by 1.8 percent to 15.6 billion euros in the April-June period, also slightly less than expected.
The company pointed to strong growth in Asia and Africa where sales rose by 34.4 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
Sales in the home market of Germany were also solid, rising by 1.9 percent, but they dropped 2.0 percent in Europe excluding Germany.
"The persistently difficult economic situation and slowing price increases will most likely have a negative impact on sales in 2012," it said.
Nevertheless, Metro said it was sticking to its full-year forecasts for a rise in sales this year.
It said it would "continue with its cost reduction initiatives and focus even stronger on like-for-like growth."
Metro chairman Olaf Koch said an improvement in efficiency at the firm's headquarters could save as much as 120 million euros.
He pledged that around two-thirds of the costs saved would be "in the field of non-personnel costs."
Investors shrugged off the losses and focused more on the positive outlook, pushing Metro shares up by more than four percent at the market open.