Supermarket group Delhaize lowers dividend

BRUSSELS, March 7 Thu Mar 7, 2013 1:15am EST

BRUSSELS, March 7 (Reuters) - Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said on Thursday it would pay a lower dividend this year than last, after its fourth-quarter operating results were just below market expectations.

Underlying operating profit for the fourth quarter came in at 204 million euros ($265.20 million), just below the 209 million euros expected in a Reuters poll of seven analysts.

Delhaize will pay a gross dividend of 1.40 euros per share, below the 1.76 euros it paid out to its shareholders last year. ($1 = 0.7692 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Ben Deighton)