Delhaize Q1 operating profit increases 13.7 percent

BRUSSELS, April 22 Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:18am EDT

BRUSSELS, April 22 (Reuters) - Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said on Monday underlying operating profit had increased 13.7 percent in the first quarter, driven by improved margins in both the Unites States and Belgium.

The group unexpectedly published unaudited figures on Monday because it had postponed its capital markets day until later in the year.

Delhaize said it expected underlying operating profit to be 775 million euros ($1.01 billion) in 2013, below the 810 million euros achieved in 2012. ($1 = 0.7644 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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