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Delhaize Comps, Profits Rise in Q1

BRUSSELS — Comparable-store sales and profits improved during the fiscal first quarter for Delhaize Group, the retailer said in preliminary financial results released Monday.


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Delhaize cited favorable volume trends sales at repositioned Food Lion stores as well as improved performance at its Hannaford and Bottom Dollar stores.

Comparable-store sales in the U.S. improved by 1.9% in the quarter, while underlying profit margin improved to 4.2% from 3.7% in the same period last year. Delhaize said the profit improvement was driven by sales leverage, favorable timing the Easter holiday, and the closing of unprofitable stores — 126 stores a year ago and another 54 this year. Delhaize said the results were preliminary and based on unaudited figures. The retailer is scheduled to post detailed financial details May 8.

Roland Smith: More Changes Ahead for Food Lion

Delhaize also said Monday that it was postponing its Capital Markets Day presentation from May 8 to an unspecified future date. “This will allow the company to provide a more comprehensive update on its business and long-term strategy.”

Including its operations in Europe, Delhaize said underlying profit margins in quarter improved by 13.7% compared with the same period last year. Its stock was up by more than 7% on the European exchange Monday.

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