Ahold Delhaize said net sales rose by 2.9%, at constant exchange rates, to €16.7 bn, driven by the performance of its operations in the Netherlands and Central and Southeastern Europe.
By geographic reporting segment, Ahold Delhaize said:
- United States: net sales rose 2.0%, at constant exchange rates, to €10.3 bn
- Netherlands: net sales rose 4.4%, at constant exchange rates, to €3.6 bn
- Belgium: net sales rose 2.1%, at constant exchange rates, to €1.3 bn
- Central and Southeastern Europe: net sales rose 6.4%, at constant exchange rates, to €1.6 bn
- Global net consumer online sales: up 29.5% at constant exchange rates, with US online sales growth accelerating to 26.3% at constant exchange rate
Online sales boosts performance in US
In the US, Ahold Delhaize said it had seen its sales growth online accelerate to 26.3% in the quarter. This was aided by the addition of new click and collect points in the country, which saw it operate 537 at the end of the quarter. It noted it had reached its target of having more than 600 in October, versus an expectation of doing so by the end of the year.
Comparable sales growth, excluding gasoline, were up by 1.8%. It said the “Re-imagine Stop & Shop” initiative had made a good start, with the 21 remodeled stores in Long Island performing in line with expectations and the 21 Hartford stores showing continuing improvements. The latter stores, Ahold Delhaize said, were still outperforming comparable stores.
At a banner level, the retailer said Food Lion posted its 28th consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales growth. The performance had been aided by the remodeling of 115 stores in Virginia and South Carolina. However, the positive news was offset by Stop & Shop, which it said was the weakest banner, with sales and profit down.
Netherlands: comparable store sales +3.0%
The retailer said its market share was flat year-on-year in the quarter. Its performance was aided by the continued conversion of stores to its new fresh and technology focused format. It converted its 96th store during the quarter and was expecting to complete 120 by the end of the year, with more planned in 2020.
As part of its continued growth and investment in online and digital capabilities, Ahold Delhaize said Bol.com third party sales had grown 60% year to date and that it had partnered with over 19,000 merchants in September. To support its grocery ecommerce the retailer said Albert Heijn will open its fifth home delivery fulfillment center in November. The 20,000 sq. m facility has the capacity to handle 40,000 orders a week.
The retailer said it continued to invest in AI technology and talent through its “Kickstart AI” programme, while it had also opened the AI for Retail Lab in Delft in October 2019, which is an expansion of the AIRLab Amsterdam, which it opened in April 2018.
Belgium: comparable store sales +2.0%
Ahold Delhaize said it had performed well in a sluggish market, which had enabled it to gain market share year-on-year in the country. The company noted how it is now operating Bol.com pick-up points in all Delhaize stores in Flanders. To boost the visibility of the two brands, Delhaize and Bol.com had held their first joint marketing promotion.
Central & Southeastern Europe sees comparable store sales rise 4.5%
The segment’s strong sales growth was driven by its positive comparable sales growth and the opening of 148 new stores in Greece, Romania and Serbia. It said it had seen sequential improvements in Greece and Serbia compared with previous quarters.