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Ahold Delhaize Q1 Underlying Income From Cont. Opns Down 11.9%

Ahold Delhaize (ADRND.PK,AHODF.PK) reported that its first-quarter underlying income from continuing operations was 566 million euros, down 11.9% in the quarter.

Ahold Delhaize's IFRS-reported net income in the quarter was 550 million euros. Earnings per share was 0.53 euros and underlying earnings per share was 0.54 euros, down 8.4% compared to last year.

Group net sales were 18.3 billion euros, up 0.3% at actual exchange rates and up 5.8% at constant exchange rates, driven largely by 4.2% comparable sales growth excluding gasoline. Group comparable sales were positively impacted in part by demand related to COVID-19, particularly within Europe. Comparable sales benefited by about 1.3 percentage points from favorable calendar shifts and a weather impact in 2021.

On a two-year comparable sales stack basis, growth for the group sequentially accelerated to 16.4% in the first-quarter 2021 versus 13.7% in the fourth-quarter 2020.

The company now expects group net consumer online sales to grow by over 40% in 2021 versus 30% previously. This includes the raised expectations for over 70% growth in U.S. online sales, versus over 60% growth previously, and at least 5.5 billion euros in net consumer online sales at bol.com, versus at least 5 billion euros previously.

For 2021, the company now expects underlying earnings per share growth to be in the low- to mid-teen range relative to 2019 versus mid- to high-single-digit growth previously.

The company expects that framing 2021 underlying earnings per share guidance relative to 2019, which was prior to COVID-19 and also on a 52-week calendar, provides a helpful context for investors.

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