Ahold Delhaize has announced consolidated net sales of €15.1bn for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 54.5 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of last year, corresponding to pro forma net sales of €15.5bn.
Overall the business showed a strong performance in the fourth quarter, resulting in a net sales growth of 2.8 per cent on a pro forma basis, at constant exchange rates and adjusted for week 53 in 2015.
For the full year 2016, pro forma net sales reached €62.3bn, up 3.4 per cent at constant exchange rates and adjusted for week 53 in 2015.
Delhaize America delivered strong comparable sales growth of 2.2 per cent and both Food Lion and Hannaford grew volumes significantly.
The Netherlands had an "outstanding performance", the company said, with comparable sales growth of 6.6 per cent, driven by assortment innovations and improved service in supermarkets and strong sales growth of the online businesses bol.com and ah.nl.
In Belgium, comparable sales decreased 0.9 per cent, while In central and south-east Europe, comparable sales growth was 3.4 per cent.
"For the full year 2016, we confirm our guidance for pro forma underlying operating margin for the group to be broadly in line with our performance in the first three quarters and to be slightly ahead of 2015's underlying operating margin, with free cash flow (including the Delhaize Group for a full year) to be around €1.3bn," the group.