Food price inflation helped U.S. banners Food Lion and Hannaford post “solid” sales gains in the fiscal fourth quarter, Belgium-based parent Delhaize Group said in preliminary financial results released Monday.
U.S. sales totaled $4.7 billion for the quarter and $17.8 billion in the fiscal year, Delhaize said. Excluding the effect of an extra week in the quarter and fiscal year, sales increased by 3.8% in the quarter and by 4.5% for the year.
The figures do not include results from the discount Bottom Dollar segment which has been reclassified as discontinued operations. Delhaize in November agreed to sell that unit to Aldi and expects the deal to close shortly.
Comparable-store sales for the quarter increased by 3.6% in the U.S., supported by inflation of 2.6%, Delhaize said.
“Our fourth quarter revenues at Delhaize America were solid, partly helped by inflation, and both Food Lion and Hannaford reported positive real sales growth,” Delhazie CEO Frans Muller said in a statement.
Underlying operating margins were relatively stable in the U.S., Delhaize said. The trading update was based on preliminary unaudited figures. The company will release full results on March 5.
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