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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Delhaize plots major expansion

Retailer plans to open 450 new stores across its newer, high-growth operations over the next three years

Delhaize plots major expansion

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Belgian food retailer Delhaize has announced during its analyst meeting that it is planning to further accelerate its store openings across its newer operations, and achieve a group-wide annual revenue of 5-7 per cent within three years.

According to the retailer, additional cost savings will be generated and used to invest in sales building initiatives that will help support accelerating growth.

Newer operations, the combination of new markets (southeast Europe and Asia) and new formats (Bottom Dollar Food and Red Market), have contributed significantly in recent years, while the recent acquisition of Delta Maxi has also strengthened its base in growth markets.

The group therefore expects to launch some 450 stores in these high-growth, newer operations across the three-year period covering 2012-2014, representing a 'significant step' on previous years, it noted.

"Two years into the execution of the New Game Plan, aimed at accelerating revenue and operating profit growth, we are making a lot of progress in a difficult environment," president and CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers told the analyst meeting. "We are strengthening our brands, stepping up price investments at all our operating companies, further developing our formats and generating the means to fund these initiatives through structural changes in the way we operate. We have also completed a strategic acquisition of the Delta Maxi operations in southeastern Europe, a move that we expect to substantially change the growth profile of our Group.

"We are confident that our Group will be able to seize the many opportunities that come with the challenging environment we operate in," he added. "While we continue to be focused on the disciplined execution of the many projects that are ongoing, we are ready to accelerate our store opening plans."

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