Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize reported a drop in third-quarter net profit before minorities, down from EUR90.6m a year ago to EUR47.4m (US$60.65m).

The profit reported is well below analysts’ forecasts, despite sales rising from EUR4.682bn to EUR4.812bn in the period under review.

Operating profit edged up to EUR229.4m from EUR224.2m. The company restated its full-year guidance for net profit from continuing operations to rise 8-12%, operating profit to increase 4.6%, sales to climb 4.5-5.5%, and US comparable store sales to grow 2.5-3.0%.

The company also said it was selling off its Czech operation Delvita, saying there were “several interested buyers” but declining to name them. The sale of Delvita was welcomed by analysts who said they expected the market to react favourably.