Ahold Delhaize, one of the world's largest food retail groups, has revealed a strong third quarter with improved sales across the board and strong growth of underlying operating income.
Sales for the period rose 3.6 per cent at constant exchange rates, while net income jumped 26.7 per cent to €459m, or 26 per cent at constant exchange rates.
"We are pleased with these results, demonstrating the strength of our great local brands, which is underpinned by their leading market positions," said Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize. "We are proud of the strong engagement of our 370,000 associates serving local communities and especially those that were affected by natural disasters."
In the US, comparable sales grew by 3 per cent compared to the previous quarter, excluding petrol, with positive volume growth.
"In the Netherlands, performance was very strong with comparable sales up 5.9 per cent," Muller continued. "Net consumer online sales grew 33.2 per cent as bol.com continued its rapid growth as the leading e-commerce platform in the Benelux.
"In Belgium, Delhaize grew sales and margins as the implementation of its new strategy and improvement plans continued to make steady progress," he added. "In Central and Southeastern Europe, we are particularly pleased by the performance of our Czech business. Sales in the segment were impacted by negative comparable sales in Greece, which we expect to improve during the fourth quarter of 2018."