Ahold Delhaize saw its net profit fall by almost 30 percent last quarter. This can partly be explained by the restructuring costs for the privatization of the Delhaize stores in Belgium.
The Dutch supermarket group Ahold Delhaize made significantly less profit in the third quarter than a year earlier. The privatization of Delhaize stores in Belgium, among other things, weighed on the results, Ahold Delhaize, which also operates the Albert Heijn stores and the online store Bol, announced on Wednesday.
The group’s net profit fell to 394 million euros, which at constant exchange rates is almost 30 percent less than a year earlier. The biggest impact was a write-off of 153 million euros at the American online supermarket FreshDirect, which Ahold Delhaize is selling to Getir, a company that delivers groceries to your home within 10 minutes. Ahold Delhaize had bought FreshDirect, which has 3,200 employees, just two years ago. It is not known what price Getir pays.
But the intervention at Delhaize in Belgium, where all integrated stores will be made independent, is also taking a bite out of profits. Ahold Delhaize speaks of ’61 million euros in restructuring costs and related costs due to the transformation in Belgium and other initiatives’. That transformation also had “a negative net impact of approximately 0.2 percentage points on comparable group sales,” Ahold Delhaize said. An independent buyer has now been found for 51 of the 128 integrated Delhaize supermarkets.
The Ahold Delhaize group achieved a quarterly turnover of 21.9 billion euros. That is a decrease of 2.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2022. But that decrease is the result of negative exchange rate effects: at constant exchange rates, turnover grew by 2.9 percent. In Europe there was 7 percent growth at constant exchange rates, in the United States – Ahold Delhaize’s most important market based on sales – it was 0.5 percent.
Ahold Delhaize further raised its forecast for free cash flow for this year on Wednesday. It now assumes a free cash flow of 2.2 to 2.4 billion euros, compared to 2 to 2.2 billion euros previously. The group also announced that it will buy back an additional 1 billion euros worth of its own shares from the beginning of 2024.