Belgian food retailer Delhaize has seen the weak dollar eat away at its first-quarter sales and earnings.

The company, which has a presence in eight countries, said today (9 May) that operating profit rose 1% to EUR229.6m (US$310.7m). Stripping out currency fluctuations, Delhaize said profits rose 8.2%.

The weak dollar hit sales, which dipped 0.5% to EUR4.7bn. On an organic basis, revenue rose almost 6% thanks to rising sales in Belgium, the US and Greece.

Delhaize president and CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers insisted that the company's first-quarter performance had been "very strong".

Beckers said: "Our dynamic commercial strategy, combined with our disciplined cost management and decreased net financial expenses, resulted in excellent sales and profit for the quarter. All of our regions continued their strong sales momentum."

Domestically, sales rose 4.2% as Delhaize opened new stores and generated same-store revenue growth of 2%. In the US, sales were up 5.6% thanks to "good momentum" at its Food Lion and Hannaford stores. In Greece, sales jumped over 15% at Delhaize's Alfa-Beta subsidiary.

Revenue from the company's emerging markets of Romania and Indonesia also climbed over 15%. Last month, Delhaize won EU approval for the sale of its Czech operations to German retailer Rewe.