Ahold Delhaize reports solid third quarter performance with continued momentum
Zaandam, the Netherlands, November 17, 2016 - Ahold Delhaize, a leader in supermarkets and e-commerce with market-leading local brands in 11 countries, today published third quarter results.
Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, said: “We are pleased to announce a solid performance in our first full set of quarterly results since completing our landmark merger in July.
“Despite challenging conditions in certain markets, Ahold Delhaize has delivered growth in sales and in underlying operating income on a pro forma basis which reflects the strength and resilience of our great local brands, as well as our continued focus on delivering cost efficiencies across our businesses while driving top-line growth.
“Customers again responded positively to our brands' continued commitment to quality, innovation and service across our markets. In the Netherlands, we achieved a seventh consecutive quarter of volume growth driven by the continued strong momentum at Albert Heijn. Customers valued its innovative proposition and promotional campaigns. Our online businesses bol.com and ah.nl also delivered another quarter of very strong sales growth. In Belgium, we generated savings from the Transformation Plan, with an almost doubling of our pro forma underlying operating income. In Central and Southeastern Europe, Ahold Delhaize grew comparable store sales in Greece and Romania and improved margins.
“The trading environment in the U.S. remained challenging with ongoing price deflation and competitive pressures in the market. The program to improve the customer proposition at Ahold USA, together with the strengthening of the Stop & Shop store network in the New York Metro area resulted in volume growth. At Delhaize America, both Food Lion and Hannaford continued to experience positive comparable sales and volume growth. Third quarter sales growth was impacted by increased retail price deflation, mainly at Food Lion as a result of a more intense competitive environment. Food Lion continued with its "Easy, Fresh & Affordable" initiative which performs according to plan.
“Ahold Delhaize made significant progress in our first quarter together and we are continuing to carry out our post-merger integration plans. I look forward to presenting these with more detail at our Capital Markets Day on December 7th in London.”
This communication includes forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Words such as updates, focus, improve, carry out, indicative, future, plans, outlook, expect, anticipate and effect or other similar words or expressions are typically used to identify forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and that may cause actual results of Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. (the “Company”) to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to risks relating to competition and pressure on profit margins in the food retail industry; the impact of the Company’s outstanding financial debt; future changes in accounting standards; the Company’s ability to generate positive cash flows; general economic conditions; the Company’s international operations; the impact of economic conditions on consumer spending; turbulences in the global credit markets and the economy; the significance of the Company’s U.S. operations and the concentration of its U.S. operations on the east coast of the U.S.; increases in interest rates and the impact of downgrades in the Company’s credit ratings; competitive labor markets, changes in labor conditions and labor disruptions; environmental liabilities associated with the properties that the Company owns or leases; the Company’s inability to locate appropriate real estate or enter into real estate leases on commercially acceptable terms; exchange rate fluctuations; additional expenses or capital expenditures associated with compliance with federal, regional, state and local laws and regulations in the U.S., the Netherlands, Belgium and other countries; product liability claims and adverse publicity; risks related to corporate responsibility and responsible retailing; the Company’s inability to successfully implement its strategy, manage the growth of its business or realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions; its inability to successfully complete divestitures and the effect of contingent liabilities arising from completed divestitures; unexpected outcomes with respect to tax audits; disruption of operations and other factors negatively affecting the Company’s suppliers; the unsuccessful operation of the Company’s franchised and affiliated stores; natural disasters and geopolitical events; inherent limitations in the Company’s control systems; the failure or breach of security of IT systems; changes in supplier terms; antitrust and similar legislation; unexpected outcome in the Company’s legal proceedings; adverse results arising from the Company’s claims against its self-insurance programs; increase in costs associated with the Company’s defined benefit pension plans; and other factors discussed in the Company’s public filings and other disclosures.
Forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company’s management and assumptions based on information currently available to the Company’s management. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company does not assume any obligation to update such statements, except as required by law.