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    Delhaize: net profit down by more than 50% in 2014


    Delhaize ended 2014 with a net profit, for the group, of 89 million euros. This is a 50.3% fall in real exchange rates compared to the year before. Its turnover fell by 3.5% in Belgium, and as much as 6.9% for the 4th trimester. It went up by 4% in the United States, the group announced on Thursday. For the whole of 2014, Delhaize’s income hit 21,4 billion euros, an increase of 3.7% in real exchange rates. Meanwhile, its operating profit went from 537 to 423 million euros. “This fall is mainly due to reorganisation in Belgium 137 million, partially compensated by small value losses in Serbia”, explains the group. Its EBITDA fell by 10.6% to 1,2 billion euros. It achieved a net profit for continuing operations of 189 million euros, which is down from the 272 million euros the year before.

    Delhaize Belgium saw its income fall by 3% to 4,9 billion euros, and their part of the market fell by 24.7%. Its underlying earnings plunged by 39.9%, to 118 million euros. The underlying earnings margin was 2.4% (compared to 3.9% in 2013) following “less sales, a smaller gross margin and higher commercial and administrative charges”.

    “We are satisfied with Delhaize America’s progress: Food Lion and Hannaford have both recorded a solid growth in income and remain profitable. In Belgium, after several difficult months, we have come to an agreement with our social partners and have started implementing the different stages of the Transformation Plan. In the South-East of Europe, the increase in market shares is encouraging despite a still difficult economic climate”, says Frans Muller, the administrative delegate of the group.

    For 2015, “we will continue the increase in sales and our share of the main financial market by a better operational efficiency and continuing our investments”, he added. He said that for the next year, the group’s investments “will go up by approximately 700 million euros with identical exchange rates”.

    In this context, the administrative council will offer the General Assembly of shareholders a gross dividend of 1.60 euros per share (1.20 euro net), a three percent increase compared to 2013.

    Andy Sanchez (Source: Belga