Delhaize has outlined its results for the third quarter of 2015, with revenue growth of 2.3 per cent year-on-year at current exchange rates, and underlying operating profit of €218m.
“We continue to report robust sales in this third quarter," reported Frans Muller, president and chief executive of Delhaize Group. "At Delhaize America, while our revenue growth was driven by Food Lion, Hannaford also posted positive volume growth once adjusted for the competitive turmoil of last summer. We made significant progress with our key strategic initiative ‘Easy, Fresh & Affordable´ at Food Lion by further fine-tuning Wilmington and Greenville, relaunching 162 stores in the Raleigh market two weeks ago and preparing for our next market in 2016.”
Comparable store sales growth stood at 1.7 per cent in the US, 1.7 per cent in Belgium and 5.1 per cent across southeastern Europe stores.
“Our return to positive comparable store sales growth in Belgium is just a first step as we are putting our operations back onto a path of sustainable growth," Muller continued. "During the third quarter, our stores were impacted by significant changes as a result of the agreed departure of many employees. We have started the roll-out of our new store organisation which will be implemented in 53 stores by mid-November. In southeastern Europe, we continued to benefit from a strong summer in our Greek operations, excellent momentum in Romania, and Serbia also posted good comparable store sales growth.
“We are looking forward to the important fourth quarter of the year and we are confident that we will deliver results and free cash flow in line with expectations," he concluded. "At the same time, we continue to make progress with the proposed merger with Ahold and we are on track to complete the transaction by mid-2016.”