BRUSSELS — Delhaize Group here said operating profits and revenues at its U.S. division fell in the fiscal third quarter amid a difficult competitive and economic environment in the Southeast.
The parent of the Food Lion, Hannaford Bros. and Sweetbay chains said operating profits were down 6.5% in the quarter, to $243 million, on a 0.8% decline in revenues, to $4.73 billion, compared with year-ago results.
Comparable-store sales in the U.S. were down 1.8%.
"The economic and competitive environment remains challenging, especially in the Southeast of the U.S., where consumer spending continues to be very prudent and promotions-driven," the company said in a prepared statement.
The company said Hannaford Bros., based in Scarborough, Maine, had a strong quarter, and that volume trends improved at Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion as the company invested heavily in price. Comp-store sales in the preceding quarter were down 3.6%.
The company said internal inflation was flat in both quarters. Through three quarters U.S. operating profit fell 10.7%, to $702 million, on a 1.3% decline in revenues, to $14.09 billion. Overall Delhaize said its weakness in the U.S. was offset by improvements in its overseas businesses, as total net income rose 2.7% for the quarter at identical exchange rates, to $195.2 million, on a 0.8% increase in revenues, also at identical rates, to about $7.4 billion.