ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — Ahold Delhaize’s Food Lion and Hannaford U.S. supermarkets had both strong fiscal fourth quarters and for fiscal 2016, the company stated in an earnings report. Volume growth was particularly strong, more than offsetting the impact of inflation on sales.
Underlying operating margins improved, driven by the “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” strategic initiative and synergies, said Ahold Delhaize.
"Ahold USA continued to focus on its ‘Heading Northeast’ strategy by offering better value, better quality and improved service to its customers, resulting in resilient volume trends. Underlying operating margin performance was slightly better than last year, adjusted for week 53 last year, supported by ongoing cost initiatives and synergies,” said Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold Delhaize.
Overall, Ahold Delhaize had Pro forma Q4 net sales of €15.5 billion euros, up 2.8% at constant exchange rates, adjusted for week 53 in 2015. Pro forma Q4 underlying operating margin grew by 3.9%, driven by strong performance in the Netherlands and at Delhaize America.
"I am very pleased with the financial results in the fourth quarter with volume growth and strong margins, while making good progress implementing our ‘Better Together’ strategy which we announced in December. Our teams are working hard on the integration, leveraging best practices and realizing synergy targets.”
For more on the Better Together strategy, intended to capture benefits of international scale combined with local brands and associate expertise to drive profitable growth in its supermarkets, ecommerce and smaller formats, click here.