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Ahold Delhaize Q2 results beat expectations

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The company raised its full-year earnings guidance

ZAANDAM, the Netherlands — Ahold Delhaize reported second-quarter sales that were down on a year-over-year basis but still came in ahead of analyst expectations. The company raised its full-year earnings and underlying operating margin guidance.

ahold delhaizeThe company said comparable sales (excluding gasoline) for the second quarter declined 1.5% in the U.S. and rose 2.4% in Europe. On a two-year comparable sales growth basis, stacked comparable sales for the second quarter of 2020 and 2021 excluding gas in the U.S. were up 19.1% versus 2019. In Europe that figure was up 12.6% in Q2 2021. The company said the comp sales figures also show a sequential acceleration versus full-year 2020 growth of 15.8% in the U.S. and 12.3% in Europe.

Net consumer online sales grew 35.8% at constant exchange rates, on top of the 77.6% growth the company recorded in last year’s second quarter.

Second-quarter group net sales were €18.6 billion ($21.88 billion), up 3% at constant exchange rates but down 2.4% at actual exchange rates.

“We are pleased with our Q2 performance,” Ahold Delhaize president and CEO Frans Muller said. “During the quarter, associates in all our brands and businesses continued to work tirelessly in a rapidly shifting environment, marked by the gradual reopening of the economies across our markets. We remain grateful to them for their hard work and dedication to serving customers and communities.”

Ahold Delhaize’s net income for the quarter was €540 million ($633 million). Diluted earnings per share (EPS) was €0.52 and diluted underlying EPS was €0.53, down 17.5% compared to last year’s record Q2 results, the company said. Compared to Q2 2019, diluted underlying EPS in the quarter was up approximately 55%, the company noted, arguing that the comparison provides additional context for this year’s second-quarter results.

Looking ahead, the company is mostly upbeat.

“While COVID-19 continues to create significant uncertainty, our Q2 results provide us with the confidence to raise our underlying EPS and underlying operating margin forecast for the full year,” Muller said. “We also announced a 2021 interim dividend of €0.43 compared to the 2020 interim dividend of €0.50, in line with our dividend policy which is equal to 40% of the year-to-date underlying income per share from continuing operations. As previously communicated, expect to grow the full-year 2021 dividend year-over-year.

“We continue to be in a strategically stronger position in 2021 relative to the time before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Our investments in our online proposition continue to serve us well. In Q2, net consumer online sales continued to grow, coming on top of the very robust growth profile from the same quarter last year. During the quarter, we added 86 new click-and-collect locations in the U.S., continued to expand AH Compact (our no-fee delivery service in the Netherlands) to new markets and doubled Albert Heijn’s home delivery coverage in Belgium’s Flanders region.”


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