Delhaize Group
EURONEXT BRUSSELS : DELB
NYSE : DEG
EURONEXT BRUSSELS : DELB.BR

April 22, 2013 02:13 ET

Delhaize Group Issues Preliminary First Quarter 2013 Results and Postpones Capital Markets Day

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwired - Apr 22, 2013) - Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announces preliminary unaudited figures for the first quarter of 2013 and its decision to postpone its Capital Markets Day.

» First Quarter 2013 Results (based on preliminary unaudited figures)

In the first quarter of 2013, Delhaize Group's revenues were EUR5.5 billion, an increase of 2.1% and 1.5% at identical and actual exchange rates, respectively. Organic revenue growth (excluding revenues from the 126 stores and 45 stores closed in the U.S. in Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 respectively) was 3.8%. In the U.S., comparable store sales growth was 1.9% (3.0% including a +1.1% calendar impact), fueled by favorable weather conditions and continued good volume trends in the Food Lion repositioned stores and at Hannaford. This was partly offset by deflation which was however at a lower level than the previous quarter. In Belgium, comparable store sales growth was 2.4% (0.6% including a -1.8% calendar impact) as a result of inflation and improved volume trends. In Southeastern Europe, revenues grew by 6.8% at identical exchange rates due to store openings, while consumer spending is under pressure in the region.

Underlying operating profit was EUR214 million, a 13.7% increase compared to the first quarter of 2012 at identical exchange rates (+13.0% at actual exchange rates) resulting in an underlying operating margin of 3.9% (3.5% in Q1 last year). In the U.S., underlying operating margin was 4.2% (3.7% in Q1 last year) as a result of positive sales leverage supported by the favorable calendar impact, non-performing store closures, cost reductions and Bottom Dollar Food's significantly improved results. This was partly offset by continued price investments. In Belgium, underlying operating margin was 5.1% (4.6% in Q1 last year), mostly driven by cost control and positive sales leverage. In Southeastern Europe, underlying operating margin decreased to 1.4% (2.0% last year), mostly driven by price investments.

Underlying EBITDA of EUR369 million represented a 7.1% increase compared to the first quarter of 2012 at identical exchange rates (+6.4% at actual exchange rates).

Free cash flow reached EUR255 million (EUR87 million in Q1 2012) due to higher EBITDA, working capital improvements and continued capital discipline.

Full first quarter results will be disclosed on May 8, 2013 as initially scheduled, including a normally scheduled conference call with management.

» 2013 Outlook

As a consequence of our continued focus on our strategic priorities, Delhaize Group expects underlying operating profit of approximately EUR775 million for the full year 2013 at identical exchange rates.

» Postponement of Capital Markets Day

Delhaize Group announces the decision to postpone its Capital Markets Day, previously scheduled for May 8, 2013, until later in the year. This will allow the Company to provide a more comprehensive update on its business and long-term strategy.

» Delhaize Group

Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in ten countries on three continents. At the end of 2012, Delhaize Group's sales network consisted of 3 451 stores. In 2012, Delhaize Group posted EUR22.6 billion ($29.0 billion) in revenues and EUR104 million ($134 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2012, Delhaize Group employed approximately 158 000 people. Delhaize Group's stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website http://www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to investor@delhaizegroup.com.

Press release in pdf format: http://hugin.info/133961/R/1694636/557386.pdf

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that:

(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and

(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Delhaize Group via Thomson Reuters ONE

[HUG#1694636]

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