| BRUSSELS, Belgium, May 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- |
|» Revenue growth of 2.8% at identical exchange rates|
|» Comparable store sales growth of 4.6% in the U.S. and -0.8% in Belgium|
|» Group underlying operating profit of €161 million|
|» Group underlying operating margin of 3.1% (3.6% in the U.S. and 3.1% in Belgium)|
» CEO Comments
Frans Muller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: "Our first quarter shows a mixed performance, with very strong revenues in the U.S. but disappointing results in Belgium. In the U.S., our comparable store sales growth was primarily driven by the continued momentum at Food Lion. Hannaford comparable store sales growth was also positive. As expected, our price investments and commodity cost increases impacted our margin. In Belgium, we experienced weak first quarter sales and profitability, being the result of continuing vigorous competition, requiring more promotions and price investments, as well as a further increase in SG&A costs. At the same time customer satisfaction improved compared to last year. While we continued to face challenges in Serbia, we achieved comparable store sales growth and further market share gains in Greece and Romania."
"In light of our focus on our core markets announced in March, we have recently signed agreements to divest our Bulgarian and Bosnian & Herzegovinian operations. We are on track to implement our strategy of Easy, Fresh & Affordable at 77 Food Lion stores later in the year. In Belgium, we are working on further differentiating the customer experience in our stores. The opening of two next generation stores in Belgium 10 days ago, bringing to life our new strategy centered on 'buy well, eat well', is an important step to improve our performance."
"We re-iterate that, for 2014, our capital expenditures will increase to approximately €625 million at identical exchange rates and we plan to open 180 stores. We also intend to continue to generate a healthy level of free cash flow."
Press release in pdf format http://hugin.info/133961/R/1783231/610610.pdf
Presentation Q1 2014 http://hugin.info/133961/R/1783231/610612.pdf
CONTACT: Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151 Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669Source:Delhaize Group