BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Delhaize "Le Lion" here posted a 4% rise in group sales in 1994 and said it expects profits to show substantial improvement.
Sales for the year ended Dec. 31 were $11.86 billion (380.7 billion Belgian francs at the exchange rate of 32.1 Belgian francs per $1).
Delhaize issues a preliminary trading statement at the beginning of the year and provides a detailed financial report, including earnings, in the spring.
The company indicated the sales improvement came after a disappointing 1993 and was fueled by a strong performance at all its chains.
About 67% of the group's sales are in the United States, where it owns the Food Lion and Super Discount Markets chains.
As previously reported, Food Lion had a 4.2% rise in sales for the year to $7.9 billion, with a 3.3% increase in sales of comparable stores. The chain closed 87 supermarkets during 1994, opened 30 and renovated 65. It had 1,039 stores at the end of the year, compared with 1,096 at the end of 1993.
Super Discount Markets in Atlanta had a 14.6% increase in sales at its Cub Foods stores to $298 million. Two stores opened last year.
In Belgium, Delhaize "Le Lion" had a 5.5% rise in sales to $3.07 billion. The company had 110 supermarkets, 52 Dial stores, 70 Di units and 185 affiliated stores at the end of the year.
The Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos subsidiary in Greece, which operates 19 stores, had a 21.2% rise in sales to $268.7 million. Three stores opened last year and another five are planned for 1995.
Delvita in the Czech Republic reported a 102.1% increase in sales to $56.1 million. Delvita, which has 12 supermarkets, opened four in 1994 and plans several more openings this year.
Group P.G. Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France had sales of $33.33 million last year in its 30 P.G. supermarkets. One opened last year and several new stores are under study, Delhaize said.