2013-02-28 06:48:25 -
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, [date] - February 28, 2013
· Sales of €7.8 billion (up 5.1% at constant exchange rates)
· Underlying operating income €355 million (up 4.1%)
· Underlying operating margin 4.5% (Q4 2011: 4.7%)
· Operating income €156 million - down 52.4% impacted by non-recurring items
· Net income €827 million (2011: €1,017 million)
· Free cash flow of €1.2 billion (up €223 million)
· Dividend increased by 10% to €0.44 per share
· New €500 million share buyback program
Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Ahold today published its summary report for the
fourth quarter and full year of 2012.
CEO Dick Boer said: "Our businesses continued to perform well in the fourth
quarter. We grew sales and gained
market share in all our markets. Underlying
operating income increased, excluding
€199 million of impairments and non-recurring items related to pensions and
"In 2012 we began to reap the benefits of the Reshaping Retail strategy,
actively leveraging changing consumer needs and pursuing growth opportunities,
in both existing and new markets. We delivered another year of solid financial
performance. At constant exchange rates, net sales grew 3.5% and our underlying
operating margin was 4.3% in spite of the challenging market conditions. Free
cash flow was at a record of €1.2 billion, reflecting our strong cash generating
capacity. We are pleased with our market share gains in an ongoing intensely
competitive environment in all our major markets.
"During the year, customers were focused on price and promotions, without
compromising on quality. In response, we were able to simplify our business and
save costs so that we could invest more into offering great value to our
customers. We were able to increase the target for our 2012-2014 cost reduction
program from €350 million to €600 million by further driving our efforts to
simplify our business where we see opportunities, such as optimizing our
commercial processes and driving own-brand profit.
"As part of our strategy we are broadening our offering to customers. Our U.S.
businesses are improving their own-brand product lines to give customers more
choices at different price points to fit their budgets. We are building our
online business on both continents to give customers more shopping alternatives,
and we continued to achieve double-digit online sales growth in food. Our
acquisition of online retailer bol.com is enabling us to provide Dutch and
Belgian customers with a far wider selection of non-food products. Customers
appreciate the convenience of the pickup points we opened during the year,
including the first Peapod pickup points in the United States, and our first
pickup points in the Netherlands.
"We expanded our geographic reach during the year, by acquiring and converting
15 Genuardi's stores to the Giant Carlisle banner in the Philadelphia area in
the United States. We agreed to transfer 82 C1000/Jumbo stores from Jumbo and
converted the first 15 into the Albert Heijn format in the Netherlands. We also
opened nine more supermarkets in Belgium, bringing the total to eleven. In
Germany Albert Heijn opened its first three convenience stores.
"On February 11(th) we announced that we had reached an agreement with Hakon
Invest regarding the sale of our 60% stake in ICA for SEK 21.2 billion,
including ICA's 2012 dividend of
SEK 1.2 billion and will continue to focus on businesses we control in order to
create value for our shareholders. This transaction is expected to be completed
in the middle of the year.
"We will continue our balanced approach to capital allocation, investing in
growth while providing attractive returns to shareholders. We propose a 10%
increase in our dividend to €0.44 per share, a pay-out of 44% of adjusted income
from continuing operations. In addition, our strong liquidity enables us to
launch a new €500 million share buyback program for the next 12 months.
"We remain cautious in our outlook for 2013 but similar to 2012 we are committed
to deliver on our Reshaping Retail strategy. We will stay focused on simplifying
our business to reduce costs so that we can continue to improve our offering and
the value we provide to our customers. We are committed to invest in growth
while maintaining a return on capital employed in the top quartile of the
sector. We believe our businesses are well positioned for the future and are
committed to offering our customers a better shopping experience in our stores
and online every day."
Ahold Press Office: +31 88 659 5343
Ahold Investor Relations: +31 88 659 5213
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Source: Ahold via Thomson Reuters ONE