Shares in Delhaize Group jumped this morning (22 April) after the Belgium-based retailer said efforts to turn around its US business are continuing to bear fruit.
Higher US same-store sales drove first-quarter profit gains, Delhaize said as it reported preliminary first-quarter results ahead of the full set of figures next month.
Profit before one-time items rose 13% to EUR214m (US$279m). Underlying EBITDA was up 7.1% to EUR369m, the group added.
Total revenues increased by 2.1% to EUR5.5bn. Same-store US sales were up 1.9% – the largest gain for six quarters – while comparable sales in Belgium were up 2.4%.
Delhaize said lower US retail deflation and good weather helped fuel the US recovery. In the preceding quarter, the company halted its sales decline in the market through price cuts and a brand overhaul. Delhaize has also closed 34 under-performing stores in the US, a move expected to boost profits this year by around EUR20m.
Delhaize forecast operating profit before one-time items will decline to about EUR775m, from EUR810m last year.
Shares in Delhaize were up almost 10% in morning trade, climbing to EUR46.88 at 14.00 (BST).
The company will release its full first-quarter results on 8 May.