* Q1 sales 10.1 bln euros vs analyst consensus for 10.2 bln
* Full figures due Feb. 13
* 2017/18 guidance confirmed
* Wholesale unit organic sales up in Germany; down in Russia (Adds shares, analyst comment)
BERLIN, Jan 15 (Reuters) - German retailer Metro reported a slowdown in sales in its Russian business for the important Christmas quarter, although it saw an improvement in same-store sales at its core German wholesale unit and its hypermarkets stabilised.
Metro's cash-and-carry business in Russia has traditionally contributed a big chunk of operating profits and it previously considered listing the business until the Ukraine crisis and sanctions on Moscow dampened the Russian economy.
"This weak performance in Russia will offset the benefits from stronger like-for-like sales in Germany and elsewhere," said Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne, noting the quarter represents about half of annual operating profit.
Metro shares were down 1.9 percent at 0830 GMT, one of the biggest declines among European retail stocks.
Metro has forecast stronger profitability since it separated from consumer electronics chain Ceconomy last July. It reports full figures for the first quarter of its 2017/18 financial year on Feb. 13.
Metro, which runs wholesale stores in 35 countries as well as struggling Real hypermarkets in Germany, reported sales up 0.2 percent to 10.1 billion euros ($12.3 billion), just below a Thomson Reuters Eikon analyst consensus for 10.2 billion.
Overall, like-for-like sales were up 0.8 percent, despite a reduced number of trading days in the quarter, versus the company's full-year forecast to "slightly surpass" the 0.5 percent growth of the previous year.
Chief Executive Olaf Koch said the figures were in line with its full-year outlook, which also foresees headline sales growth of at least the 1.1 percent achieved in 2016/17.
The wholesale business in Germany saw a like-for-like rise of about 2 percent, but a 9 percent fall in Russia, while Real reported flat like-for-like sales after nine of its 281 stores were renovated with a bigger focus on fresh and organic food.
The delivery business of the wholesale unit continued to grow, Metro said, as did Real ecommerce sales.
($1 = 0.8187 euros) (Editing Douglas Busvine and Mark Potter)