Ralf Pütman quits as buying director of Galeria Kaufhof after 20 years with the German retail group, owned by Metro. Speculation is that the 46-year-old had been keen on replacing Lovro Mandac as chief executive in 2009, when the latter's contract was extended for another three years. Joachim Nowak remains in charge of purchasing for the group's 13 Kaufhof Sportarena stores and two new pilot outdoor stores. The latest Kaufhof Sportarena, measuring 4,400 square meters, opened in Düsseldorf last March. Galeria Kaufhof suffered a 4.7 drop in sales to about €800 million in the first quarter of this year, but same-store sales were up by 3.9 percent. Its operating results (Ebit) fell by 43.2 percent, ending up with a loss of €27 million. Overall, the Metro group saw its Ebit increase by 6.6 percent to €145 million on stable revenues of €15.5 billion in the quarter.