SOURCE: Delhaize Group

November 09, 2006 02:05 ET

Delhaize Group Reports Strong Third Quarter Growth

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 9, 2006 --


Third Quarter 2006 Results

* Strong comparable store sales growth in the U.S. (+3.1%) and in Belgium (+4.3%)

* High organic sales growth of 6.0%

* Stable operating margin

* Net profit from continuing operations grows by 18.2% at actual exchange rates

Portfolio

* Reclassification of Czech Delvita activities to assets held for sale and discontinued operations

2006 Guidance

* Confirmation of full-year guidance

Pdf-version Press Release: http://hugin.info/133961/R/1087189/190340.pdf

Results Delhaize Amerika: http://hugin.info/133961/R/1087189/190342.pdf

CEO Comments

"The third quarter was another solid quarter for Delhaize Group", said Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group. "The commercial dynamism and high level of execution in all our banners were reflected in our very strong sales growth. In fact, our third quarter was another organic sales record for Delhaize Group in more than five years. Comparable store sales grew 3.1% in the U.S. and 4.3% in Belgium, and in Greece, Alfa-Beta continued its outstanding performance growing sales by 15.3%."

"These results fully reflect our strategy of accelerating our top-line growth while maintaining our industry-leading margins, as was confirmed in the good performance of Hannaford, Food Lion and Alfa-Beta. Disciplined cost management allowed us to offset price investments and keep our operating margin stable in the quarter", continued Mr. Beckers.

"The decision to exit the Czech Republic was a difficult one. However, we have given full consideration to the interests of our Czech associates and the market environment, and we believe that the combination of Delvita with another Czech retailer will allow the combined entity to be more competitive in this market. The divestment will allow us to focus our resources in higher opportunity markets", said Mr. Beckers.

Contacts:

Guy Elewaut:           + 32 2 412 29 48
Geoffroy d'Oultremont: + 32 2 412 83 21
Hans Michiels:         + 32 2 412 83 30

Ruth Kinzey (U.S. media):    + 1 704 633 82 50 (ext. 2118)
Amy Shue (U.S. investors):   + 1 704 633 82 50 (ext. 2529)


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