Delhaize has announced third quarter (Q3) and nine months (YTD) results for the period ended 30 September 2014.

Q3 2014 Results

Group

Mixed results with positive LFL growth in the US, offset by a low summer season in Belgium and weak economic conditions in Southeast Europe.

  • Sales increased 3.1% year-on-year (y-o-y) at actual rates and 3.3% y-o-y at identical rates reaching EUR5.4 billion.
  • Gross margin decreased 2 basis points (bp) to 24.0%. This is based on a lower margin in Belgium, a higher gross margin in Southeast Europe and flat margin in the US.
  • Operating profit reached EUR182 million.

United States

Volume growth and positive inflation contributed to a positive result.

  • Sales decreased 5.7% y-o-y to EUR3.5 billion, and increased 5.9% y-o-y in local currency to USD4.6 billion. Like-for-like (LFL) sales increased 5.3% y-o-y.

Belgium

Low inflation, especially in fresh fruit and vegetables, combined with lower advertising activity contributed to an overall weak summer season. The uncertainty caused by its “Transformation Plan”, which will see an overhaul of operations, including the closure of up to 14 underperforming stores in Belgium and possible lay-offs, also contributed to a negative season.

  • Sales decreased 4.2% y-o-y, to EUR12.0 billion. LFL sales decreased 5.0% y-o-y.

Southeast Europe

The division includes operations in Romania, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

  • Sales increased 3.7% y-o-y to EUR0.75 billion.

YTD 2014 Results

Group

  • Sales increased 1.3% y-o-y at actual rates and 3.3% y-o-y at identical rates, reaching EUR15.8 billion.
  • Gross margin was 24.0%, down 28 bp due to price investments in the US and Belgium but offset by improved procurement conditions in Southeast Europe.
  • Operating profit of the group increased 6.8% y-o-y at actual rates and 8.8% y-o-y at identical rates to EUR367 million.
  • Net profit decreased 9.4% y-o-y at actual rates and 10.8% y-o-y at identical rates totaling EUR155 million.
  • As of 30 September 2014 the retailer operated a network of 3,386 stores.

 

United States

  • Sales increased 2.0% y-o-y to EUR9.9 billion, and increased 4.9% y-o-y in local currency to USD13.4 billion. LFL sales increased 4.4%.
  • Operating profit decreased 2.0% and reached USD379 million.
  • As of 30 September 2014 the retailer operated 1,363 stores.

Belgium

  • Sales decreased 1.7% y-o-y to EUR3.6 billion. LFL decreased 2.3%.
  • Operating profit decreased 34.9% to EUR94 million.
  • As of 30 September 2014 the retailer operated 864 stores.

Southeastern Europe

  • Sales increased 3.4% y-o-y to EUR2.2 billion.
  • Operating profit decreased 0.8% to EUR76 million.
  • As of 30 September 2014 the retailer operated 1,039 stores.

2014 Outlook

  • In Q4 Delhaize America is expected to see positive comparable store sales growth.
  • In Belgium, disruptions in distribution centers and company-operated stores are likely to impact sales results. In November and December 2014, the retailer will further discuss its “Transformation plan” with social partners.
  • In Southeast Europe, Delhaize will continue opening stores to gain market share.
  • Delhaize expects a healthy free cash flow for the third consecutive year based on the free cash flow generated in Q3 2014.
  • The retailer expects capital expenditures to reach EUR625 by the end of 2014, mainly due to the opening of some 180 stores during the year.