Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Ahold today published its interim report for the first quarter 2011. CEO Dick Boer said: “We delivered solid results and increased volumes in all our markets despite challenging market conditions with customers continuing to focus on value. In the United States we had particularly strong sales and margins, partially due to the timing of Easter. In the Netherlands margins were impacted by increasing inflation which was not fully passed on to customers. We will continue to manage the balance between sales and margins in a challenging environment of inflation and intense promotional activity, especially in the United States.”
This interim report includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements as to Ahold managing the balance between sales and margins in an environment of inflation and intense promotional activity. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forwardlooking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as the effect of general economic or political conditions, fluctuations in exchange rates or interest rates, increases or changes in competition, Ahold’s ability to implement and complete successfully its plans and strategies, the benefits from and resources generated by Ahold’s plans and strategies being less than or different from those anticipated, changes in Ahold’s liquidity needs, the actions of competitors and third parties and other factors discussed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this interim report. Ahold does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this interim report to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by applicable laws. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or simply “Ahold”.
Financial Highlights First Quarter 2011 (at identical exchange rates)
Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: “In the first quarter of 2011, our Group posted revenue growth in all operating segments. Comparable store sales trends continued to improve in the U.S., helped by retail inflation while we continued to stay on price strategy. Alfa Beta continued to grow revenues and gain strong market share in a declining market. Our cost savings projects, on track to achieve EUR 500 million gross annual savings by the end of 2012, continue to deliver the fuel to fund the many projects of the New Game Plan. Despite these ongoing cost reductions achieved across all banners, the first quarter of 2011 was, as planned, impacted by expenses incurred for key strategic initiatives that will bear fruit as from later this year. Free cash flow generation was again very strong and puts Delhaize Group in an excellent position to pay for the Delta Maxi Group acquisition using available cash balances.”
“Today, we have re-launched around 200 Food Lion stores in the Raleigh and Chattanooga markets that will serve as phase one of the fundamental re-positioning work focused on the brand elements of price, assortment and shopping experience. Helped by what we learn from this first phase, we will roll out the re-positioning work to the large majority of the Food Lion network by the end of 2012.”