|Financial Highlights 2014|
|» Comparable store sales growth of 4.4% in the U.S. and -3.5% in Belgium|
|» Underlying operating profit of €737 million excluding the 53rd week in the U.S., a decline of 6.3% at identical exchange rates. Underlying operating profit of €762 million including the 53rd week in the U.S.|
|» Free cash flow generation of €757 million including €171 million from the divestment of Sweetbay, Harveys and Reid's|
| » Proposed full year gross dividend of €1.60 per share, a 3% increase compared to 2013. |
|Financial Highlights Fourth Quarter 2014|
|» Group revenue growth of 1.3% at identical exchange rates and excluding 53rd week in the U.S.|
|» Solid comparable store sales growth at Delhaize America (+3.6%) but negative comparable store sales growth at Delhaize Belgium (-6.9%) and Southeastern Europe (-2.2%)|
| » Group underlying operating margin of 3.9% (3.6% excluding the impact of the 53rd week in the U.S.) |
|Other Highlights Fourth Quarter 2014|
| » Non-recurring reorganization charge of €137 million related to the Transformation Plan in Belgium |
» Impairment loss of €124 million related to the planned divestiture of Bottom Dollar Food (€74 million after tax), included in result from discontinued operations
- CEO Comments
BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Frans Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: "We are pleased with the progress at Delhaize America as both Food Lion and Hannaford achieved solid revenue growth while maintaining profitability. In Belgium, after several difficult months, we have now reached an agreement with our social partners and are starting to implement the different steps of the Transformation Plan. In Southeastern Europe, market share increases are encouraging, despite the continued challenging economic backdrop."
"The "Easy, Fresh & Affordable" strategic initiative, which is designed to differentiate Food Lion relative to its local competitors, has made good progress in 2014. Therefore we will roll out Easy, Fresh & Affordable to an additional 160 stores in 2015. We believe this will favorably position us in an increasingly competitive Southeastern U.S. market. While we are focused on maintaining our sales momentum, we are also mindful of non-recurring costs related to Food Lion's strategic initiatives. In Belgium, we are confident that the execution of the Transformation Plan, coupled with investments in our commercial proposition and in our store network, will allow us to regain a leading market position."
"We will continue to grow sales and improve our market share in our core markets funded by operational efficiencies and continued capital discipline. For the current year, our capital expenditures will increase to approximately €700 million at identical exchange rates."
CONTACT: Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151 Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669Source:Delhaize Group