Ahold Delhaize is one of the world’s largest food retail groups and a leader in both supermarkets and eCommerce. Today it reported its second quarter results.
Frans Muller, President and CEO of Ahold Delhaize: "Although our results were impacted by the strike at Stop & Shop, our other U.S. brands continued their strong performance. As we continue to see sales performance improve at Stop & Shop, we expect no significant impact from the strike in the second half of the year.
"U.S. comparable sales excluding gasoline were up 0.2% during the quarter, with the strike impact offset by the strong performance of our other brands, in particular Food Lion. Excluding the impact from the strike and subsequent period of sales recovery and the favorable timing of Easter, comparable sales excluding gasoline were up 2.3%. Our online business in the U.S. grew 14.4%, or 18% excluding the adverse impact of the strike and we remain confident that we can achieve over 20% growth in U.S. online sales in 2019.”
"In the Netherlands, performance remained solid, with 3.1% comparable sales growth, adjusted for Easter. Net consumer online sales were up 34.4%, with bol.com, the most successful online retail platform in the Benelux, growing net consumer sales by 37.5%. In Belgium, comparable sales were slightly below last year, but underlying operating margins further improved compared to 2018. In Central and Southeastern Europe, the sales performance in Greece improved over previous quarters.”
"During the quarter, we continued to make steady progress on the execution of our Leading Together strategy. We started the rollout of our "Re-imagine Stop & Shop" program on Long Island, implementing learnings from the Hartford, Connecticut, stores we remodeled last year. We also launched various fresh food initiatives across the businesses in both the U.S. and Europe, providing healthy and convenient meal solutions for our customers. Highlighting our commitment to sustainability, we successfully issued a €600 million Sustainability Bond, making Ahold Delhaize the first retailer to issue a euro-denominated Sustainability Bond.”
"With the integration of Ahold and Delhaize now fully completed, we achieved net synergies of €512 million on an annual run-rate basis, slightly ahead of our target. We are well underway with our Save for Our Customers program which is expected to deliver €540 million in 2019. Today, we also reiterate the 2019 outlook that we announced when we published our first quarter 2019 results. For the first half of 2019, we will pay an interim dividend of €0.30, based on 40% of first half 2019 underlying income per share from continuing operations."