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Delhaize Group 2014 revenues and preliminary results

Full Year preliminary and unaudited 2014 Results at actual exchange rates(1)
» Group revenue growth of 3.9% at identical exchange rates including the 53rd week in the U.S.
» Group revenue growth of 2.6% at identical exchange rates excluding the 53rd week in the U.S.
» Underlying operating profit of €764 million including the 53rd week in the U.S.
» Underlying operating profit of €739 million excluding the 53rd week in the U.S.
» Operating free cash flow of approximately €585 million. Free cash flow of approximately €756 million including the net proceeds of €171 million related to the divestment of Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's

Fourth Quarter 2014 Revenues
» Group revenue growth of 6.3% at identical exchange rates including the 53rd week in the U.S.
» Group revenue growth of 1.3% at identical exchange rates excluding the 53rd week in the U.S.
» 3.6% comparable store sales growth in the U.S.
» Comparable store sales declines by 6.9% in Belgium and by 2.2% in Southeastern Europe

  • CEO Comments

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Jan. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Frans Muller, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group said: "In 2014, we made substantial progress in a number of areas and believe the strategy announced in March of 2014 has resonated with all stakeholders. While we recognize there is still significant work to be done to achieve our ambitions and goals, I am confident in our team's ability to deliver."

"Our preliminary unaudited Group underlying operating profit stood at €739 million for 2014, excluding the 53rd week in the U.S., driven by strong sales growth and a relatively stable underlying operating margin at Delhaize America. We generated an operating free cash flow of approximately €585 million. "

"Our fourth quarter revenues at Delhaize America were solid, partly helped by inflation and both Food Lion and Hannaford reported positive real sales growth. In Belgium our revenues and results were both negatively impacted by disruptions in our stores and in our distribution network. We have the ambition to reach a final agreement with our social partners on the Transformation Plan negotiations soon. In Southeastern Europe, a difficult consumer environment in Greece and Serbia resulted in negative comparable store sales growth."

"For 2015, our focus will be to further roll-out the Easy, Fresh and Affordable strategy at Food Lion and to implement the Transformation Plan in Belgium, both initiatives focused on the customer. We will also seek to accelerate growth in selected markets. Finally, we will continue to be disciplined with respect to operating costs, capital allocation and working capital."

(1) Excluding Bottom Dollar Food which is included in results from discontinued operations

Full press releae in pdf format http://hugin.info/133961/R/1889164/668702.pdf

HUG#1889164

CONTACT: Investor Relations: +32 2 412 21 51 Media Relations: +32 2 412 86 69Source:Delhaize Group