Delhaize exits Czech market

By James Knowles

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cent Marketing Revenue Us

Delhaize yesterday reported organic sales growth of six per cent in
the third quarter, the Belgian supermarket group's strongest growth
in five years.

The retail giant said net sales from its stores and other sources increased to €4.8bn during the period, a gain of 2.8 per cent at actual rates. Operating profit grew by 2.3 per cent to €229.4m in the third quarter, representing an organic growth of 5.7 per cent.

The company's operating margin was 4.8 per cent during the quarter, representing a stable rate throughout the year.

In a bid to exit unprofitable markets, the company also said it would sell its Delvita retail brand in the Czech Republic, said Delhaize chief executive officer Pierre-Olivier Beckers.

"We have given full consideration to the interests of our Czech associates and the market environment, and we believe that the combination of Delvita with another Czech retailer will allow the combined entity to be more competitive in this market"​ said Beckers.

The reclassification of Delivita to 'assets held for sale and discontinued operations' had an adverse effect on net profit, which fell to €45.3m from €89.7m a year earlier. The company took an impairment loss of €59.3m in the third quarter,

In the third quarter of 2006, sales at the company's US operations amounted to $4.4bn (€3.5bn), an increase of 5.1 per cent on the third quarter 2005

Delhaize Belgium enjoyed increased net sales and other revenues of 6.9 per cent to €1.1bn in the third quarter. The company slightly increased its market share during the quarter, and had comparable store growth of 4.3 per cent.

Sales in Greece grew to 15.3 per cent to €249m due to strong comparable store growth and new store openings. Net revenues in the emerging markets of Romania and Indonesia increased 13.5 per cent to €32.7m.

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