Delhaize, Belgium’s second-largest supermarket chain, has said that its 2002 sales were down 3.3% to €20.7bn (US$21.7bn), hit by slow sales in the US, its main market.

The company said its same-store sales in the US dropped 1% in 2002.

Delhaize also said that it plans to cut costs further at its largest US chain, Food Lion, and plans to close 41 of Food Lion’s underperforming stores by the end of the month, as well as closing one of its discount Kash n Karry stores, reported Reuters.