BRUSSELS, June 23 Belgian discount retailer
Colruyt expects consumer confidence to stay weak and
fierce competition to continue, after profits in its 2013/2014
financial year fell slightly.
The group said its market share remained stable at 25.9
percent compared with last year, as an increase in the first
part of the year was undone by a fall in the second part.
Net profit in the group's financial year to March 31 fell
1.1 percent to 349.8 million euros ($475.5 million), broadly in
line with the 352 million expected in a Reuters poll of nine
"The consumer's spending pattern increasingly shifted, and
continues to shift, towards a cheaper product mix," Colruyt said
in a statement.
The group had in September said it expected net profit to be
unchanged from the previous year.
The Belgian supermarket landscape has been fiercely
competitive over recent quarters, also due to Dutch rival
Ahold's Albert Heijn entering the market and German
hard discounters Aldi and Lidl gaining ground.
Earlier this month, Delhaize said it would cut up
to 2,500 jobs in the country to restore margins hit by
($1 = 0.7357 Euros)
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by David Holmes)