Zaandam, the Netherlands - January 19, 2017 - Ahold Delhaize today announced consolidated net sales of €15.1 billion for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of 54.5% compared to the fourth quarter of last year, corresponding to pro forma net sales of €15.5 billion.
Overall our business showed a strong performance in the fourth quarter, resulting in a net sales growth of 2.8% on a pro forma basis, at constant exchange rates and adjusted for week 53 in 2015. For the full year 2016, pro forma net sales reached €62.3 billion, up 3.4% at constant exchange rates and adjusted for week 53 in 2015.
After a solid holiday season, in particular at Stop & Shop New England, comparable sales at Ahold USA were slightly down by 0.2%, while increasing market share excluding Stop & Shop New York Metro as sales in the fourth quarter of 2015 benefited from competitive closures in that market. Shelf price deflation was 1.2%, broadly in line with the previous quarter.
Delhaize America delivered strong comparable sales growth of 2.2% and both Food Lion and Hannaford grew volumes significantly. In October, Food Lion implemented its “Easy, Fresh & Affordable” initiative in 142 stores in the Charlotte market, with positive initial customer response especially in Fresh. Shelf price deflation was 1.7%, broadly in line with the previous quarter.
The Netherlands had an outstanding performance with comparable sales growth of 6.6%, driven by assortment innovations and improved service in our supermarkets and strong sales growth of the online businesses bol.com and ah.nl. In December, Albert Heijn was named best supermarket in the Netherlands by market research company GfK. Market share of Albert Heijn for the full year slightly increased compared to last year.
In Belgium comparable sales decreased 0.9%, when comparing to a strong fourth quarter in 2015. Market share remained stable for the full year compared to last year.
In Central and Southeastern Europe, comparable sales growth was 3.4%. Growth was mainly driven by Romania, with very strong comparable sales and further expansion of the store network. In Greece, comparable sales growth remained positive despite last year's exceptional fourth quarter which benefited from market disruptions.
For the full year 2016, we confirm our guidance for:
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