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Ahold Delhaize Q4 Profit Rises; Sees Underlying Earnings Growth In FY20

Dutch supermarkets and eCommerce company Ahold Delhaize N.V. (ADRND.PK,AHODF.PK) reported Wednesday that its fourth-quarter net income grew 6.9 percent to 544 million euros from last year's 509 million euros.

Basic income per share grew 11.3 percent to 0.50 euro from 0.45 euro a year ago.

Underlying income per share were 0.52 euro, compared to 0.44 euro last year. Underlying EBITDA improved 5.5 percent to 1.48 billion euros from last year's 1.40 billion euros.

Net sales were 17.38 billion euros, up 5 percent from last year's 16.38 billion euros. Net sales grew 3.1 percent at constant rates.

In the U.S., comparable sales growth excluding gasoline accelerated to 2.3 percent during the quarter, and was 2.6 percent excluding the net impact from a weather benefit last year.

Looking ahead, the company expects U.S. online sales growth to accelerate to 30 percent or more in 2020, with a total of nearly 1,000 click-and-collect points by the end of 2020, up from 692 in 2019.

"Although we will make significant investments in 2020 to drive long-term growth, we expect group underlying operating margin in 2020 to be broadly in line with 2019. We expect mid-single-digit growth in underlying EPS in 2020," the company said.

Further, the company said it has raised its goal to 1.9 billion euros in cumulative savings through 2021, compared to previous target of 1.8 billion euros. The company remains on track to reach goal of doubling net consumer online sales to 7 billion euros by 2021.

Separately, the company announced its decision to discontinue small U.S. Midwest online grocery sales operation.

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