SOURCE: Delhaize Group

March 11, 2008 09:46 ET

Standard & Poor's (S&P) Raises Delhaize Group's Credit Rating to Investment Grade (BBB-)

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - March 11, 2008) - Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announced today that its credit rating was raised to investment grade (BBB- with stable outlook) by the rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P). Delhaize Group now has an investment grade credit rating from both Moody's Investor Service (Moody's) and S&P.

Standard & Poor's assigned a long term unsecured issuer rating of BBB- with a stable outlook to Delhaize Group. This represents an upward revision from the previous non-investment grade BB+ rating with positive outlook that S&P had assigned in May 2007 when it first rated Delhaize Group.

Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group said: "We are pleased that S&P recognized our strong operational performance and the major improvement in our capital structure during recent years. This is the result of the dynamic profitable growth of our business and the reduction of our leverage."

In its press release, Standard & Poor's commented on this upward revision by indicating: "The upgrade reflects a steady improvement of the Group's credit metrics, which have now reached levels commensurate with an investment grade rating."

In May 2007, Delhaize Group and Delhaize America, its U.S. subsidiary, put in place cross-guarantees guaranteeing each other's financial debt obligations. The implementation of the cross-guarantees was conditional upon Delhaize Group obtaining a credit rating from Moody's and S&P at least as strong as the credit rating and outlook of Delhaize America. Previously, only Delhaize America had been rated. In May 2007, Delhaize Group received a Baa3 investment grade credit rating from Moody's.

Delhaize Group

Delhaize Group is a Belgian food retailer present in seven countries on three continents. At the end of 2007, Delhaize Group's sales network consisted of 2,545 stores. In 2007, Delhaize Group posted EUR 19.0 billion (USD 26.0 billion) in revenues and EUR 410.1 million (USD 562.1 million) in net profit. At the end of 2007, Delhaize Group employed approximately 138,000 people. Delhaize Group is listed on Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

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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, statements about 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 Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2006 and other periodic 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.

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