Ahold Delhaize has reported its 2018 Q3 results, with net sales increasing by 3.6% at constant exchange rates to €15.8bn. Net income also increased by 26.7% at constant exchange rates to €459m.
USA: +3.2% to €9.6bn
In the USA, net sales increased by 3.2% at constant exchange rates to €9.6bn, while comparable sales (excluding gas) increased by 3%.
…partially impacted by Hurricane Florence
It is estimated that Hurricane Florence had a 0.5% impact on comparable sales growth, resulting in an adjusted growth of 2.5%. Hurricane Florence also partly offset the underlying operating margin in the country. However, this still increased by 0.2% versus the same period last year, partly driven by improved promotional efficiency.
Highlights: Stop & Shop and Food Lion remodels, meat processing and online
During this period Stop & Shop implemented the first phase of its repositioning strategy by remodelling its stores in Hartford, Connecticut.
Food Lion continued to roll out its ‘Easy, Fresh and Affordable’ strategy to a total of 712 out of 1,029 stores. The latest phase of the rollout included 168 stores in Virginia’s Norfolk and greater Roanoke. The banner also expanded its ‘Food Lion To-Go’ collection service in North Carolina and Virginia.
The retailer’s Retail Business Services division has also announced plans to build a 200,000 sq. m meat processing facility. The project will account for over US$100m of investment and create over 700 jobs in Rhode Island.
Elsewhere, online sales in the country rose by 11.8% at constant exchange rates to €185m. This was partially attributed to Peapod as it experienced improving sales trends.
As Peapod appoints Selma Postma as president…
In related news, Peapod has appointed Selma Postma as its president, effective 1 January 2019.
Postma previously served as general manager of Albert Heijn Online where she helped “to accelerate online sales to more than 20% annually”. Her leadership helped the company evolve into a omnichannel retailer, with a press release highlighting the optimization of ah.nl, as well as the Appie mobile app and other solutions.
Peapod is “confident her expertise will accelerate the ecommerce experience for Peapod customers and continue to grow sales”.
Netherlands: growth of 5.8% to €3.5bn
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, net sales increased by 5.8% to €3.5bn, while comparable sales increased by 5.9%.
Highlights: checkout free stores, blockchain and online
Albert Heijn to go opened its first checkout free stores, allowing customers to pay at the shelves and avoid waiting in line. The retailer has also used blockchain technology to improve transparency.
Source: Ahold Delhaize
Bol.com and Albert Heijn saw positive growth with net consumer online sales increasing by 33.2%. The two online websites also offered a streamlined service by combining online initiatives.
Belgium: growth of 1% to €1.3bn
In neighbouring Belgium, net sales increased by 1.0% to €1.3bn, while comparable sales increased by 0.6%. Online sales increased by 18% during this period too.
Highlights: Nutri-Score food label and store remodelling
Delhaize introduced the Nutri-Score food label to help customers understand nutritional information more easily. The retailer hopes to introduce the label to all private label products within two years. Delhaize also remodelled five of its stores to a new concept, which includes the ‘Fresh Atelier’ food-to-go concept.
Source: IGD Research
In Central and Southeastern Europe, net sales increased by 3% at constant exchange rates to €1.5bn. The retailer attributed this to comparable sales growth of 0.6% and the addition of 123 stores, most of which were convenience stores. Romania and the Czech Republic also reported strong growth.
In the Czech Republic, a new urban supermarket concept was developed featuring fresh, healthy foods and an easy shopping experience.
…while Greek performance remained negative
Meanwhile at a regional level, sales were impacted by Greece’s negative comparable sales performance. However, sales trends did improve compared with Q2 2018.
CEO Frans Muller: “strength of our great local brands”
Frans Muller, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, commented, “We are pleased with these results, demonstrating the strength of our great local brands, which is underpinned by their leading market positions. We are proud of the strong engagement of our 370,000 associates serving local communities and especially those that were affected by natural disasters”.