SOURCE: Delhaize Group

November 05, 2009 02:15 ET

Delhaize Group Reports Operating Profit Increase of 5.7% in the Third Quarter of 2009

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - November 5, 2009) -


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| Financial Highlights Third Quarter 2009 (at identical exchange    |
| rates)                                                            |
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| » Revenue growth of 1.9% (4.8% at actual exchange rates)          |
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| » Comparable store sales evolution of -1.3% in the U.S. while     |
| volume trends continued to improve for the third consecutive      |
| quarter                                                           |
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| » Strong comparable store sales growth of 4.6% in Belgium,        |
| resulting in a significant market share increase                  |
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| » Solid operating margin remained stable at 4.6% (increased to    |
| 4.7% at actual exchange rates)                                    |
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| » Operating profit increase of 2.1% (5.7% at actual exchange      |
| rates)                                                            |
|                                                                   |
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| Upgrading guidance range                                          |
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| » Solid year-to-date results support the increase of operating    |
| profit growth expectations to be between 1% to 4% instead of 0%   |
| to 3% (at identical exchange rates and including the 53rd week in |
| 2008)                                                             |
|                                                                   |
| »  CEO Comments                                                   |
|                                                                   |
| Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer  of |
| Delhaize Group, commented:  "In the third  quarter of this  year, |
| Delhaize Group  demonstrated once  again its  ability to  operate |
| successfully in a  challenging environment.  While, as  expected, |
| price pressure in  the U.S.  continued to impact  sales, we  were |
| encouraged to see that targeted promotions and outstanding  store |
| execution resulted  in  improving  volume trends  for  the  third |
| consecutive quarter. In  addition, Delhaize  Belgium realized  an |
| outstanding sales  performance  supported by  its  ongoing  price |
| efforts  and  by  a  very  successful  marketing  campaign.  This |
| resulted in the largest market share  jump in a number of  years. |
| Also, our Greek operations maintained strong momentum and  posted |
| solid results."                                                   |
|                                                                   |
| "At the same time,  our operating margin  remained strong due  to |
| continued improvements in inventory  management, the strength  of |
| our private brand program and  effective cost management. We  are |
| on track with our plans to improve our cost structure by EUR  100 |
| million this year."                                               |
|                                                                   |
| "Although we are mindful of  the volatile environment, we  remain |
| confident in our  operating companies' resilience  and our  plans |
| for the rest of the year.  Our results for the first nine  months |
| of the  year  give  us  the confidence  to  upgrade  our  earlier |
| communicated guidance of 0 to 3% operating profit growth to 1  to |
| 4% at identical  exchange rates  and including the  53rd week  in |
| 2008."                                                            |
|                                                                   |
| » Contacts                                                        |
|                                                                   |
|Guy Elewaut: + 32 2 412 29 48                                      |
|Geert Verellen: + 32 2 412 83 62                                   |
|                                                                   |
|Amy Shue (U.S. investors): +1 704 633 8250 (ext. 2529)             |
|Barbera Hoppenbrouwers (media): + 32 2 412 86 69                   |
|                                                                   |
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