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Carl Collen


Thursday 6th November 2008, 03:50 Central Time

Delhaize profit grows at "solid pace"

A strong third quarter of the year saw group revenue rise both domestically and internationally

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Belgian retailer Delhaize has reported that year-on-year operating profit for the third quarter of 2008 jumped 8.3 per cent to €215.8m, on the back of private label product sales and competitive pricing.

Total revenue increased by 4.8 per cent during the period, with "significant" store sales growth in Belgium (4.3 per cent), and in the US (3.8 per cent), boosted by strong comparable store sales growth of 3.7 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.

Elsewhere, the group achieved revenue growth in Greece of 13.1 per cent, with Romanian and Indonesian operations improving 40.6 per cent compared with 2007.

"During the third quarter, our revenues grew at a solid pace at all of our operations in spite of the ongoing difficult consumer environment," said group CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers. "We are effectively managing within the current environment while pursuing our long-term strategic choices."

The retailer ended the quarter with a total of 2,630 stores globally, a net addition of 28 new outlets including the purchase of 14 La Fourmi stores in Romania.

"Our solid sales performance, careful expense management and strong balance sheet, along with strong liquidity to finance our projected cash needs, allow us to manage our company with confidence in these challenging times and confirm our guidance," Mr Beckers added.

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