"China is a very attractive market", says Metro boss

The German company, Metro has forecast flat profits this year due to a stuttering global economy and costs from expanding its business.

The world's fourth-largest retailer has said high unemployment and austerity programmes in Europe have damaged consumer spending in the region.

Metro reported a 1.8% fall in pre-tax 2011 earnings to 2.37bn euros.

The chief executive of Metro, Olaf Kock told the BBC, "We need to be decisive and move on with our business model."