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Delhaize Posts Q4, FY 15 Revenue Growth

For its fiscal year 2015, Delhaize Group has reported revenue growth of 15.6 percent (3.2 percent at identical exchange rates), excluding the 53rd week in the United States in 2014, an underlying operating profit of about 870 million euros, and an underlying operating margin of 4 percent in the United States.

Including the 53rd week in the United States in 2014, revenues rose by 14.2 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively at actual and at identical exchange rates. Organic revenue growth was 3.2 percent. The company partly attributed its overall revenue growth to the 2.2 percent revenue growth to $17.8 billion logged by its U.S. operations, excluding the 53rd week in 2014, buttressed by comparable-store sales growth of 2.2 percent despite retail deflation of 1 percent, driven by planned price investments in both Food Lion and Hannaford.

For its fourth quarter of 2015, the Brussels-based retail conglomerate posted revenue growth of 14.2 percent at actual exchange rates (4.9 percent at identical exchange rates), excluding the 53rd week in the United States in 2014. Organic revenue growth for the quarter was 4.9 percent. The company’s Q4 U.S. revenues increased 2.6 percent excluding the impact of the 53rd week in 2014, while comps rose 2.3 percent.

“In 2015, in line with our strategy outlined two years ago, we kept our focus on our customers and made good progress on our strategic initiatives,” said Delhaize Group President and CEO Frans Muller. “Specifically at Food Lion, the revenue uplift from Easy, Fresh & Affordable [refreshed stores] is delivering according to plan and costs are under control.” He further noted that Delhaize America’s Q4 real growth, corrected for inflation, was a “strong” 3.3 percent.

Continued Muller: “For 2016, our objective is to fine-tune the Easy, Fresh and Affordable initiative at Food Lion and to roll it out to an additional market, and to improve operating standards in Belgium as we continue implementing the Transformation Plan. We are also confident to maintain our sales trends in all our markets in 2016, driven by comparable-store sales growth and expansion mainly in southeastern Europe. Subject to final approvals, we are looking forward to bringing our operations with good operating momentum and a solid financial structure into a stronger and larger group as we complete the merger with Ahold on schedule by mid-2016.”

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