Delhaize Group
BRUX : DELB
NYSE : DEG
BRUX : DELB.BR

November 30, 2011 21:39 ET

Delhaize Group plans 450 new stores in its high growth operations in the next three years

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Nov 30, 2011) - Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB - NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announces today, during its Analyst Meeting held in the U.S., plans to further accelerate store openings in its newer operations and achieve Group annual revenue growth of 5 to 7% within three years. Additional cost savings will be generated and used to invest in the many sales building initiatives that will support accelerating growth.

Speaking at the Analyst Meeting, Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: "Two years into the execution of the New Game Plan, aimed at accelerating revenue and operating profit growth, we are making a lot of progress in a difficult environment. We are strengthening our brands, stepping up price investments at all our operating companies, further developing our formats and generating the means to fund these initiatives through structural changes in the way we operate. We have also completed a strategic acquisition of the Delta Maxi operations in Southeastern Europe, a move that we expect to substantially change the growth profile of our Group. We are confident that our Group will be able to seize the many opportunities that come with the challenging environment we operate in. While we continue to be focused on the disciplined execution of the many projects that are ongoing, we are ready to accelerate our store opening plans."

Accelerate store openings in our Newer Operations

Delhaize Group's newer operations, the combination of its new markets (Southeastern Europe and Asia) and new formats (Bottom Dollar Food in the U.S. and Red Market in Europe), have contributed significantly to the Group's revenue and operating profit growth during the first two years of the New Game Plan. With the recent acquisition of Delta Maxi, the Group has further strengthened its base in countries that provide significant potential for growth.

Additionally, the encouraging results of Bottom Dollar Food in the Philadelphia market support plans for expansion in additional markets that present the same growth profile. This will include hundreds of new Bottom Dollar Food stores over the next five years.

The Group expects to open approximately 450 stores in its high growth newer operations in the three year period 2012-2014 which represents a significant step up from the past years. As a result of this important step up in store openings and the encouraging results in the rest of our network, Delhaize Group expects to generate revenue growth of 5 to 7% annually within three years.

Generate additional gross cost savings to fund sales building initiatives

As of the end of the second quarter of 2011, halfway through the three year period to generate EUR 500 million in annual gross cost savings, Delhaize Group had realized already approximately 60% of this target. Today, Delhaize Group expects to exceed this target, mainly due to increased savings in cost of goods sold, which will enable it to invest more in sales building initiatives should the economic and competitive environment require it do to so.

More information

The presentations will be broadcast live over the Internet (audio only) on December 1, 2011 starting at 8:00 a.m. ET (02:00 p.m. CET) and on December 2, 2011 starting at 9:00 a.m. ET (03:00 p.m. CET) at www.delhaizegroup.com. A replay of this webcast will be available on the same website starting 90 minutes after each event.

The slides of the respective presentations will also be available on Delhaize Group's website (www.delhaizegroup.com) as from 8:00 a.m. ET (02:00 p.m. CET) on December 1, 2011 and as from 9:00 a.m. ET (3:00 p.m. CET) on December 2, 2011.

» Delhaize Group

Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in eleven countries on three continents. At the end of the third quarter of 2011, Delhaize Group's sales network consisted of 3 362 stores. In 2010, Delhaize Group posted EUR 20.8 billion (USD 27.6 billion) in revenues and EUR 574 million (USD 762 million) in net profit (Group share). At the end of the third quarter of 2011, Delhaize Group employed approximately 154 000 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.

cautionary note regarding forward looking statements

Statements that are included or incorporated by reference in this press release and other written and oral statements made from time to time by Delhaize Group and its representatives, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that Delhaize Group expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, without limitation, expected costs savings under the New Game Plan, anticipated revenue and net profit growth, strategic options, future strategies and the anticipated benefits of these strategies, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as "guidance," "outlook," "projected," "believe," "target," "predict," "estimate," "forecast," "strategy," "may," "goal," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "foresee," "likely," "will," "should" or other similar words or phrases. Although such statements are based on current information, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those projected depending upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, changes in the general economy or the markets of Delhaize Group, in consumer spending, in inflation or currency exchange rates or in legislation or regulation; competitive factors; adverse determination with respect to claims; inability to timely develop, remodel, integrate or convert stores; and supply or quality control problems with vendors. Additional risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements are described in Delhaize Group's most recent Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings made by Delhaize Group with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference. Delhaize Group disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

Press release in pdf format: http://hugin.info/133961/R/1567846/487166.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#1567846]

Contact Information

  • Contacts

    Geert Verellen
    + 32 2 412 83 62

    Aurelie Bultynck
    + 32 2 412 83 61

    Steven Vandenbroeke (media)
    +32 2 412 86 69

    Amy Shue (U.S. investors)
    +1 704 633 82 50 (ext. 2529)