* Q3 adj op profit 231 mln euros vs 194 mln expected
* Says refurbished Food Lion stores grew sales
BRUSSELS Nov 7 Belgium-based supermarket group
Delhaize beat third-quarter profit expectations as it
paid lower bonuses in the United States and cut costs, the
company said on Wednesday.
Sales in the United States, where the group makes about 65
percent of its revenues, were 1.6 percent lower on a
like-for-like basis and in line with expectations, as retail
inflation turned into deflation in the quarter.
At its largest U.S. supermarket chain Food Lion, which has
undergone a restructuring programme, sales were flat on a
The Food Lion stores that were refurbished all showed an
increase in revenues, the group said.
Like-for-like sales at the group's Belgian unit increased
0.6 percent in the third quarter. Analysts had expected a small
The group said competition in Belgium remained intense and
Belgian laws that require salaries to grow in line with
inflation impacted margins.
Delhaize repeated its 2012 guidance for a 15 to 20 percent
fall in underlying operating profit, with the result being most
likely at the lower end of this range.
Delhaize's shares have shed about a third of their value
since the start of 2012.
Operating profit in the third quarter, adjusted for one off
items, fell 8.1 percent at identical exchange rates to 231
million euros ($296 million), above the 194 million euros
expected in a Reuters poll of eight analysts.