Ahold Delhaize Sees Growth In Dutch, Belgian Operations In Q3
Ahold Delhaize has posted a 4.2% increase in comparable sales (excluding BOL.com) in its Dutch operations in the third quarter of the year, reporting sales of €3.47 billion in its home market.
Underlying operating margin at the group's Netherlands business was up 20 basis points, to 5.1%, or 5.7% if BOL.com is excluded.
Sales at BOL.com were up 33.2%, at €647 million.
The period saw the roll-out of checkout-free shopping at several Albert Heijn outlets, the retailer said, as well as the introduction of a blockchain initiative, to make its own-brand products more transparent.
In Belgium, meanwhile, comparable sales were up 0.6%, with the group reporting sales of €1.27 billion for the period. The online sales growth for its Delhaize.be platform was 18.0% in the period.
The quarter saw Delhaize open its first five remodelled stores based on a new retail format, such as the recently opened Fresh Atelier outlet in Nivelles, which puts additional focus on fresh, ready-to-eat meals.
Underlying operating margin in Belgium was 3.2%, up 20 basis points compared to last year.
"We are pleased with these results, demonstrating the strength of our great local brands, which is underpinned by their leading market positions," commented Frans Muller, Ahold Delhaize chief executive.
"In the Netherlands, performance was very strong, with comparable sales up 5.9%. Net consumer online sales grew 33.2%, as BOL.com continued its rapid growth as the leading e-commerce platform in the Benelux [region]. In Belgium, Delhaize grew sales and margins. as the implementation of its new strategy and improvement plans continued to make steady progress."
Elsewhere, net sales in Central and South-Eastern Europe increased by 3.0% at constant exchange rates, to €1.47 billion.
"In Central and South-Eastern Europe, we are particularly pleased by the performance of our Czech business," said Muller.
"Sales in the segment were impacted by negative comparable sales in Greece, which we expect to improve during the fourth quarter of 2018," he added.
In the United States, Ahold Delhaize's biggest market, comparable sales were up 3.0%, with positive volume growth reported in the quarters. Reported sales were up 3.2% at constant exchange rates, to €9.6 billion.
Ahold Delhaize will host a Capital Markets Day in New York on 13 November.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.