Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold Delhaize, said: “We are pleased to announce a solid performance in our first full set of quarterly results since completing our landmark merger in July.
“Despite challenging conditions in certain markets, Ahold Delhaize has delivered growth in sales and in underlying operating income on a pro forma basis which reflects the strength and resilience of our great local brands, as well as our continued focus on delivering cost efficiencies across our businesses while driving top-line growth.
“Customers again responded positively to our brands' continued commitment to quality, innovation and service across our markets. In the Netherlands, we achieved a seventh consecutive quarter of volume growth driven by the continued strong momentum at Albert Heijn. Customers valued its innovative proposition and promotional campaigns. Our online businesses bol.com and ah.nl also delivered another quarter of very strong sales growth. In Belgium, we generated savings from the Transformation Plan, with an almost doubling of our pro forma underlying operating income. In Central and Southeastern Europe, Ahold Delhaize grew comparable store sales in Greece and Romania and improved margins.
“The trading environment in the U.S. remained challenging with ongoing price deflation and competitive pressures in the market. The program to improve the customer proposition at Ahold USA, together with the strengthening of the Stop & Shop store network in the New York Metro area resulted in volume growth. At Delhaize America, both Food Lion and Hannaford continued to experience positive comparable sales and volume growth. Third quarter sales growth was impacted by increased retail price deflation, mainly at Food Lion as a result of a more intense competitive environment. Food Lion continued with its "Easy, Fresh & Affordable" initiative which performs according to plan.
“Ahold Delhaize made significant progress in our first quarter together and we are continuing to carry out our post-merger integration plans. I look forward to presenting these with more detail at our Capital Markets Day on December 7th in London.”