Ahold Delhaize Sees Improvement Across European Divisions In Third Quarter
Ahold Delhaize has posted comparable sales growth in all its European divisions in the third quarter of its financial year, with its home market of the Netherlands seeing a 3.0% rise.
In the Netherlands, net sales were up 4.4% to €3.62 billion for the period, while online sales rose by 30.7%.
The group said that it is currently piloting its first fully-digital Albert Heijn store, which relies on sensor technology and computer vision, as well as an automated checkout, while it is also converting much of its Dutch estate to a new fresh- and technology-focused concept.
"In the Netherlands, our performance remained solid, with 3.0% comparable sales growth," commented chief executive Frans Muller. "Market share at Albert Heijn was flat year over year in the third quarter, an improved trend over previous quarters."
The group's Belgium business saw net sales up 2.1% to €1.25 billion, with comparable sales up 2.0%.
The period saw Ahold Delhaize continue to roll out Bol.com pick-up points across the Flanders region, as well as roll out a joint marketing promotion between Bol.com and Delhaize.
Central And Southeastern Europe
In Central and Southeastern Europe, comparable sales were up 4.5%, while net sales rose by 6.4% at constant exchange rates, to €1.56 billion.
The group said that the Czech Republic and Romania 'showed strong growth trends', while its Greek and Serbian businesses 'improved'.
Greece continues to lag behind the rest of the group's European operations, Ahold Delhaize explained – while the CSE region saw underlying operating margin of 4.6%, up 30 basis points on the previous year, Greece saw a margin decline.
In its biggest market, the US, net sales were up 2.0% at constant exchange rates, to €10.25 billion, while comparable sales were up 1.8%.
Overall, the business posted a net sales gain of 5.8% to €16.69 billion in the quarter.
"We continue to make progress on the execution of our Leading Together strategy," Muller added. "We are well underway with our Save for Our Customers program, which is now expected to deliver €600 million in 2019, higher than our previous target of €540 million."
© 2019 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.