SOURCE: Delhaize Group

August 06, 2009 13:18 ET

Delhaize Group Reports Strong Operating Profit Increase of 13.1% at Identical Exchange Rates in the Second Quarter of 2009

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - August 6, 2009) -


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| Financial Highlights Second Quarter 2009 (at identical exchange   |
| rates)                                                            |
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| » Revenue growth of 4.3% (14.3% at actual exchange rates)         |
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| » Comparable store sales growth of 0.2% in the U.S. (2.5%         |
| unadjusted for Easter and the 4th of July) and 1.9% in Belgium    |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Operating margin increases from 4.4% to 4.7% (4.8% at actual    |
| exchange rates)                                                   |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Operating profit increase of 13.1% (25.8% at actual exchange    |
| rates)                                                            |
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| Financial Highlights First Half 2009 (at identical exchange       |
| rates)                                                            |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Revenue growth of 3.6% (13.8% at actual exchange rates)         |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Operating margin increases from 4.5% to 4.7% (4.8% at actual    |
| exchange rates)                                                   |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Operating profit increase of 10.1% (22.9% at actual exchange    |
| rates)                                                            |
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| Other Highlights                                                  |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Confirmation of 2009 earnings guidance                          |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Completion of the tender offer on Alfa-Beta minority shares     |
| resulted in a 89.56% interest                                     |
|-------------------------------------------------------------------|
| » Publication of Delhaize Group's second Corporate Responsibility |
| Report                                                            |
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» CEO Comments

Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, commented: "In the second quarter of this year, our Group continued to prove its ability to cope with a challenging economic environment. We are particularly satisfied with our continued positive comparable store sales growth despite rapidly decelerating inflation from the second half of the quarter. Achieving this required sharp prices and targeted promotional offers. Sales growth supported by increasing average transaction count, combined with improvements in inventory management, the strength of our private brand program and sustained cost management has resulted in significant margin increases. Delhaize Belgium's price repositioning efforts resulted in an acceleration of its market share gains."

"This quarter's operating expense evolution confirms we continue to be on track with our plans to improve our cost structure by EUR 100 million and to generate EUR 50 million in working capital improvements this year. This significantly enhances our flexibility to reinvest in the growth of our business and support our profitability. While we remain cautious for the rest of the year as a result of the continued economic uncertainty and a stronger base of comparison, our solid performance in the first half of 2009 and our plans for the rest of the year, give us the confidence to confirm our 2009 guidance."

"Today, we are also publishing our second annual Corporate Responsibility Report. The initiatives and achievements reflected in this report are evidence of the long-lasting commitment of our Group with respect to our products, our people and our planet."


» Contacts Guy Elewaut: + 32 2 412 29 48 Geert Verellen: + 32 2 412 83 62

Aurélie Bultynck: + 32 2 412 83 61 Amy Shue (U.S. investors): +1 704 633 82 50 (ext. 2529) Barbera Hoppenbrouwers (media): + 32 2 412 86 69


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