Full speed ahead for Ahold Delhaize USA
Quincy, Mass.-based Ahold Delhaize USA is accelerating its own brand food concepts as the company revealed in its 2019 third quarter report that its fresh kitchen and culinary innovation center in Rhode Island is testing the company’s latest private label ideas.
“Our fresh kitchen and culinary innovation center in Rhode Island, which will test new fresh own brand food concepts and process fresh fruit and vegetables, is now ramping up,” said Frans Muller, CEO and president of the Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, parent company of Ahold Delhaize USA.
Ahold Delhaize USA’s banners include Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s, Hannaford and Stop & Shop. The company said its U.S. net sales in the third quarter grew by 2% at $13.2 billion. Comparable sales, excluding gasoline, increased by 1.8%. Comparable sales, excluding both gasoline and the impact from Hurricane Dorian, increased by 1.5%. This sales result was strong in the context of a challenging prior-year comparison, which included a 0.5% points net benefit from Hurricane Florence and created a headwind to comparable sales growth this year, the retailer said. Online sales increased by 26.3% to $314 million.
Underlying operating margin was 4.4%, down 0.1% points from the same quarter last year, mainly due to lower margins at Stop & Shop, which had negative sales growth, partly offset by the strong performance of most of the other U.S. brands, according to the company.