The third quarter saw Ahold Delhaize get a boost from operations in the United States, with digital sales a key driver.
In the period, net sales were up 10.1% or approximately $21.1 billion, the company reported, while operating income was up 68.5% to $245 million. Online sales gained 59.1% to $1.58 billion. Net consumer online sales, including third party sales and excluding value added tax, were up 62.6% or $211 billion. Comparable sales excluding fuel revenues advanced 10.5%.
In the U.S., net sales for the quarter were up 11.3% to $12.87 billion, while operating loss was $43 million. Online sales, the only digital revenue metric that applies to U.S. operations, gained 114.7% to $590 million. Comps excluding fuel revenues increased 12.4%.
Ahold Delhaize U.S. operations include Food Lion, Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin’s, Hannaford, Giant Food and Peapod.
“In Q3, we sustained important investments in additional safety measures, enhanced associate pay and benefits, and significant charitable donations, which resulted in approximately Euro140 million in COVID-19-related costs in the quarter, and Euro470 million year to date,” said Frans Muller, Ahold Delhaize president and CEO. “The operational execution by our teams remains outstanding and has continued to drive strong Q3 performance in both the U.S. and Europe. Our results reflected our ability to leverage our leading local digital and omnichannel platform, which generated nearly 115% net consumer online sales growth in the U.S. and nearly 50% growth in Europe in the quarter. While there remains a high level of uncertainty in the market, our strong year-to-date performance allows us to raise our 2020 underlying EPS outlook once again.”