BRUSSELS — Delhaize Group here said Thursday that comparable-sales fell 0.8% in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, an improvement over recent results and driven in part by strong sales at the Hannaford Bros. banner.
The company said its retail price inflation was below national levels as it sought to remain competitive. “Competitive activity was intense but remained relatively stable compared to the previous quarter,” the company said in a statement.
Comps for the year were down 2% in the U.S. Total revenues for the U.S. operations, which include the Food Lion, Bottom Dollar and Sweetbay banners in addition to Hannaford Bros., were flat at about $4.7 billion for the fourth quarter and down about 1% for the year, to $18.8 billion.
Delhaize ended 2010 with 1,627 supermarkets in the U.S., as a result of opening 40 stores (16 of which were Bottom Dollar discount locations) and closing 20 stores.
Total revenues for the company in 2010, which included revenue gains at operations in Europe and Indonesia, were about $28 billion (U.S.), up about 1% at identical currency exchange rates or 4.6% at actual rates.