Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize has posted better-than-expected first-quarter core profits and backed its full-year outlook despite the ongoing impact from the weak dollar.

Delhaize, which carries out more than three-quarters of its business in the US, posted adjusted first-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €368.2m (US$418.2), down 9.1% year-on-year. The company had been expected to post EBITDA of €329m, according to analysts polled by Reuters.

The retailer, which owns US chains Foodlion, Hannaford and Kash n Karry, posted first-quarter sales down 13.9% to €4.65bn, beating expectations. US same-store sales for the period were down 2.2%, hit by the late Easter this year.

The company has stuck to its 2003 target of net profit of between €150m and €185m.