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After a year where Delhaize Group is expected to see a drop of 17.5 percent in profits, CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers said the focus going forward is squarely on private label.
“We remain determined to accelerate the transformation of our business,” Beckers said in a news release. “In 2013, our focus will be on further strengthening our store brands, accelerating revenue growth, maintaining strict cost control and generating free cash flow.”
Delhaize America reported sales falling 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, but comparable sales of stores open – excluding 126 closures from February – sales rose 1.4 percent, and same-store sales overall were flat.
Delhaize said volume growth came behind reposition of the Food Lion brand, including remodeling at stores that provided growth in same-store sales and volume, price investments at Hannaford, and the expansion of Bottom Dollar Food.
“Food Lion reported positive volume, transaction and comparable store sales growth for the quarter, and recorded its best quarterly performance since 2006,” Beckers said in the release. “We are pleased to announce that organic revenue growth improved during the fourth quarter, in particular as a result of positive volume growth at Delhaize America.”
For 2012, Delhaize America showed a 2.2 percent drop in revenue, and a 0.8 percent decrease in same-store sales. Delhaize announced that it would close 33 of its Sweetbay stores in Florida for underperformance.