BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 3, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
|Financial Highlights 2015|
| » Revenue growth of 15.6% at actual exchange rates excluding the 53rd week in the U.S. in 2014 (3.2% at identical exchange rates) |
» Comparable store sales growth of 2.2% in the U.S., 0.9% in Belgium and 3.5% in Southeastern Europe
|» Underlying operating profit of €872 million, an increase of 18.2% at actual exchange rates (+4.0% at identical exchange rates) excluding the 53rd week in the U.S. in 2014|
|» Free cash flow generation of €646 million excluding one-time elements (€518 million including one-time elements)|
| » Proposed full year gross dividend of €1.80 per share, a 12.5% increase compared to 2014. |
|Financial Highlights Fourth Quarter 2015|
|» Group revenue growth of 14.2% at actual exchange rates and excluding 53rd week in the U.S. in 2014 (4.9% at identical exchange rates)|
|» Comparable store sales growth of 2.3% in the U.S., 5.1% in Belgium and 7.8% in Southeastern Europe|
| » Underlying operating profit of €258 million, an increase of 28.4% at actual exchange rates (+18.0% at identical exchange rates) excluding the 53rd week in the U.S. in 2014 |
- CEO Comments
Frans Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: "Our full year results confirm our solid performance in 2015. We have been able to stabilize or grow market share in all our markets while at the same time investing €774 million in order to differentiate our banners, improve our infrastructure and expand our network. We generated a solid level of free cash flow of €646 million excluding one-time elements, bringing our total free cash flow generation to €2.7 billion over the last four years. Based on a 11.9% increase in our underlying Group share in net profit from continued operations and our policy to pay out approximately 35%, we propose a 2015 dividend of €1.80 per share, an increase of 12.5%."
"This year, we will further expand our Easy, Fresh & Affordable initiative at Food Lion and we plan to remodel 142 stores. In Belgium, the New Store Organization model will be implemented in all our company-operated stores, as per our Transformation Plan, and we aim to remodel 15 stores. Finally, we will continue our network expansion in Southeastern Europe. Overall, we plan to spend €825 million on capital expenditure (at identical exchange rates). These efforts will allow Delhaize Group to grow revenues, improve our market share and at the same time generate a solid level of free cash flow."
"For 2016, our main focus is to complete the merger with Royal Ahold on schedule. We are confident on the prospects of the merger given the complementarity of our store networks, the opportunity to accelerate innovation for our customers and the €500 million run-rate synergy potential. The next step in the merger process will be the Extraordinary General Meetings of both companies scheduled on March 14."
CONTACT: Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151 Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669Source:Delhaize Group