An optimistic outlook for the full year, says supermarket giant
International Belgian supermarket Delhaize increased its profit before tax and exceptionals in its third quarter by 16 per cent to Eu108.9 million (£760,000).

The retailer, which has about half of its 2,530 stores in the US, recorded a dip in sales to Eu4.4 billion (£3.07 billion) for the period, compared with Eu4.7 billion (£3.28 million) for the same period a year ago.

However, Delhaize Group president and chief executive Pierre-Olivier Beckers' statement was upbeat. He said: 'Our excellent third-quarter report demonstrates the continued success of our focus on sustainable sales-building initiatives and good operational management. We are particularly pleased with the 1.7 per cent comparable store sales growth and the margin increase in our UK operations.'

The retailer expects sales growth this year to be between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent. It aims to expand its store portfolio to 2,581 shops by the end of the financial year.