Ahold Q2 Results: What They Said
Ahold posted Q2 results this morning (20 August), indicating a sales rise of 3.1% (at constant exchange rates) to €8.7 billion. and underlying operating margin of 3.8%. Here's what Ahold chief executive Dick Boer and a number of analysts following Ahold's stock said about the retailer's performance.
Dick Boer, chief executive, Ahold: "We had a strong quarter and are pleased with the financial performance across our business. We grew sales, operating income and net income and delivered strong free cash flow.
"In the Netherlands, Albert Heijn continued its strong sales momentum with more transactions and higher volumes, increasing its market share this quarter versus one year ago. Our market-leading Dutch online businesses Albert Heijn Online and bol.com achieved combined consumer sales growth of more than 30% and we continue to invest in future growth.
"Looking ahead, we remain confident in our outlook for the business and are on track to deliver a full-year performance in line with expectations. We are excited about the agreement with Delhaize, which brings together two highly complementary businesses to create a stronger, international food retailer for the benefit of our customers, associates and shareholders."
Bernstein Research: "Sales represented excellent growth, with sales up 3.1% at constant currency, compared to 1.4% in Q1 and beats of consensus in like for likes of all 3 divisions. That results came in so close to consensus is a result of different exchange rates being used; this is a solid beat across all 3 divisions.
"If there was one disappointment, it is that Ahold has not yet set out the timing of the reverse stock split or put in a tighter timetable for the Delhaize merger. The reverse stock split will likely be a short term catalyst for the stock (it has rallied 9% into the previous two reverse stock splits). The only hint given on further upside from the Delhaize deal is the line " Ability to leverage own brands and expertise to bring better value and choice". In the Czech Republic section, they describe how they retain the best of the Albert and Spar brands, using Albers pedigree in healthy, quality produce and Spar's in local sourced meat. They may see similar opportunities with the Delhaize / Ahold brands."
Barclays European Food Retail Equity Research: "Dutch sales trends were clearly strong, accelerating from the already high 1Q level. There may be some benefit from the summer weather, but the company is very happy with sales momentum. US cost control is being highlighted, across many areas. The impact of the in-store initiatives continues to build at a steady rather than spectacular rate.
"The company appears relaxed with market estimates – it does highlight that Czech identical store sales will be impacted from 3Q onwards as the SPAR stores are included within the calculation (they benefited from strong opening campaigns last year), but we consider this issue technical and not material."
© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.