Ahold Delhaize Raises Dividend By 10.5% Following ‘Strong’ Q4 Results
Ahold Delhaize has raised its dividend by 10.5% to €0.63, following what it describes as a ‘strong’ fourth quarter performance.
The group said that pro forma Q4 net sales rose by €15.8 billion, up 2.5% at constant exchange rates. Full year net sales were up 1.7% at constant rates, to €62.69 billion.
"2017 was the first full year as Ahold Delhaize, one in which we substantially completed the integration,” commented Dick Boer, chief executive of Ahold Delhaize.
“We delivered synergies ahead of schedule and continued to show underlying operating margin expansion with stable or increasing market share in our major markets.”
In the Netherlands, the company posted a “strong sales performance, supported by successful commercial campaigns and a strong holiday season”, Boer noted.
Net sales were up 6.4% in the Dutch market, the company said.
In Belgium, where net sales were up 0.8%, “new leadership is in place and developing plans to improve commercial, logistical and operational performance”, he added.
Boer added that online sales rose by more than 20% last year, accounting for €1.2 billion worth of sales of food alone.
The business’ Ahold USA business posted a comparable sales increase of 0.6%, while Delhaize America was up 1.5% on a comparable level.
“In 2017 we realised €2.8 billion online consumer sales and are well on track realising nearly €5 billion by 2020,” he added. “We are expanding our digital capabilities in all our brands and are rolling out successful customer loyalty programs.”
Making the full-year announcement, Ahold Delhaize made no mention of the news report at the weekend in De Standaard, which suggested that Frans Muller was poised to take over from Dick Boer as Ahold Delhaize chief executive.
When contacted by ESM on Monday, Ahold Delhaize chose not to comment on this news.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.