An excellent performance by bol.com sees Ahold Delhaize's online turnover go up by 25 %. All is well for the group, with excellent results in the Netherlands and the United States, except for the Belgian branch.
The group's first quarter turnover went up 1.5 % on a comparable base, reaching 15.9 billion euros. CEO Frans Muller thinks his group is on course to reach the forecasts he set out: "In the U.S., we had a good quarter, as we continue to invest in our customer experience and expand and improve our online offering." The recent strikes at the group's American subsidiary Stop & Shop will have a major influence on the results of the second quarter, but they were too late to impact the first quarter results.
In the Netherlands, the group achieved a comparable turnover rise of 3.5 %, while sales at bol.com even went up 35.2 %. However, the underlying operational margin took a dive to 5 % because of investments in logistics. Belgian had a comparable turnover decrease of 2.3 %: quite a disappointment, as Delhaize appeared to be improving last year. However, a smaller number of opening days and the later Easter holidays (completely in the second quarter this year) have had an adverse effect on the results and "underlying trends show ongoing operational improvements", Muller says.
Meanwhile, Ahold Delhaize confirmed its forecasts for 2019 will be lower because of the strike at Stop & Shop. "The period of the strikes has been challenging for everyone. However, we were able to reach fair and responsible agreements", Muller concludes.