In order to continue achieving an operating margin of more than 4 % in 2023, Dutch retail group Ahold Delhaize will further accelerate its cost-cutting programme. The retailer posted strong results in the fourth quarter and for the full 2022 financial year.
Strong fourth quarter
In a strong fourth quarter, Ahold Delhaize posted a comparable sales growth of 7.9 % to 23.4 billion euros. For the full year, sales went up 6.9 % like-for-like to 87 billion euros.
The operating margin went up 0.2 percentage points to 4.4 % in the fourth quarter, but went down 0.1 percentage point to 4.3 % for the full year. This is significantly higher than the margin of industry peers such as Carrefour or Colruyt, but the others do not operate in the United States. In Europe, Ahold Delhaize’s margin was 3.7 %, due to cost inflation, especially rising energy costs.
Again, Albert Heijn performed very strongly, gaining market share. Bol.com was able to limit the decline in e-commerce: gross volume did fall 1.9 % to 5.5 billion, but the overal market declined by about 6 %. As a result, the online shop remained profitable: underlying EBITDA was 125 million euros.
Ahold Delhaize wants to continue achieving a margin of at least 4 % in 2023. To achieve that goal, the retailer is increasing cost-cutting efforts: under the banner “Accelerate”, the company will further streamline the organisation, increase joint purchasing and consolidate IT.