Ahold brand Food Lion

Ahold Delhaize publishes 2021 Annual Report

Ahold Delhaize shared that consumer trends around cooking and eating at home, shopping online, and healthy eating have remained and evolved, and convenience continued to grow in importance.

Ahold Delhaize surmounted many obstacles brought about by the pandemic in its recently released 2021 Annual Report.

The report, which shared consumer insights regarding such trends as cooking and eating at home, as well as online shopping and healthy eating, found that the aforementioned categories have remained and evolved, as well as the growing importance of convenience. 

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“I am proud of our performance and what we have been able to achieve in 2021. Despite expectations that the world would return to pre-pandemic life, COVID-19 continued to have a major impact in our brands’ markets — and kept our people very busy,” Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller said. “I have enormous appreciation for associates in stores, distribution centers and support offices across Ahold Delhaize and its brands who worked so incredibly hard to serve the needs of customers and communities.”

Also included in the report was a look at how Ahold Delhaize’s great local brands have geared up their online propositions, delivery services, click and collect locations and brought unique customer experiences to their markets with new loyalty programs to truly enable customers to shop whenever and wherever they want.

[Read more: Ahold Delhaize's digital sales soar in Q4]

“Over the past year, associates, customers and shareholders have become even more aware of global challenges and the need to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system. Ahold Delhaize doubled down on its commitment to its climate strategy and brought forward its net-zero carbon emissions target for scope 1 and 2 by 10 years to 2040. Embedded in Ahold Delhaize’s belief that what is healthy for people, is healthy for the planet, another sharpened ambition is the increased target for healthy own-brand food sales to be at least 55% by 2025,” the company said.

An important milestone for Ahold Delhaize during the year was announcing updates to its long-term strategy “Leading Together” and key medium-term commitments during its Investor Day in November.

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Among the highlights of the report is included:

  • In the Group Performance category, net sales for the financial year ending on Jan. 2, 2022, were 75,601 million Euros, an increase of 865 million Euros, or 1.2%, compared to net sales of 74,736 million Euros for the financial year ending on Jan. 3, 2021. At constant exchange rates, net sales were up by 2,382 million Euros or 3.3%.
  • Gasoline sales increased by 35.1% in 2021 to 901 million Euros. At constant exchange rates, gasoline sales increased by 39.6%.  The increase was driven by a reduction in pandemic measures during the year leading to an increase in gasoline volumes. In addition, gasoline prices increased considerably worldwide in 2021.
  • Net sales excluding gasoline increased in 2021 by 631 million Euros, or 0.9%, compared to 2020. At constant exchanges rates, net sales excluding gasoline increased in 2021 by 2,127 million Euros, or 2.9%, compared to 2020. Sales growth continued to be elevated by demand related to COVID-19, yet was also fueled by improvements in the company's brands’ business models, including online, and the acquisition of FreshDirect, 71 stores from Southeastern Grocers at Food Lion and 38 stores from DEEN in the Netherlands.
  • The company said that it continued to see strong sales growth in its online businesses, which contributed 7,704 million Euros to net sales in 2021 (2020: 5,547 million Euros). Net consumer online sales amounted to 10,401 million Euros and increased in 2021 by 38.2% at constant exchange rates. 

[Read More: Food Lion to acquire 62 stores from Southeastern Grocers]

Other growth and investment plans include a step up in investments in digital, automation and state-of-the-art infrastructure to drive innovation and support Ahold Delhaize’s accelerated growth plans to 2025, the company said. 

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