Delhaize Reports Q1 Revenue Growth Across Global Operations
Delhaize Group’s revenues for Q1 2016 increased by 5.7 per cent at actual exchange rates, and 4.3 per cent at identical exchange rates, the retailer has reported.
In the US, its comparable store sales grew by 2.6 per cent, excluding a 0.5-per-cent negative calendar impact mainly caused by the timing of Easter 2016.
It said that sales growth in the US was fuelled by positive real growth at both its Lion Food and Hannaford businesses. Retail inflation remained negative for the quarter, at -1.1 per cent.
In Belgium, revenues grew by 4 per cent, driven by comparable store sales growth of 2.9 per cent, while retail inflation in the country increased to 2.2 per cent.
Revenues in south-eastern Europe also increased by 17 per cent at identical exchange rates, due to comparable store sales growth of 10.8 per cent, as well as store-network expansion and a 0.5-per-cent positive calendar impact.
Frans Muller, president and chief executive officer of Delhaize Group, commented, "We realised a robust performance in our first-quarter profitability, with a 3.6-per-cent underlying operating margin."
He added that, "Although the group benefitted from a slightly stronger gross margin, mainly in the US, profitability was especially boosted by lower SG&A as a percentage of revenues in Belgium and south-eastern Europe. We reported a negative free cash flow in the first quarter, but we remain confident to generate a healthy free cash flow for the full year."
Muller concluded by saying that the company’s main focus this year is to complete its merger with Royal Ahold on schedule, and that the only remaining major milestone for the deal is to receive approval from the US Federal Trade Commission.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jenny Whelan. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.