(46,1 EUR, 8,03%) was supposed to release its 1Q13 results on 8 May. Instead the group came out with preliminary figures this morning.
Revenue +2.1% at identical FX and +1.5% at actual FX to € 5.5bn (CSS € 5.531bn, KBCS € 5.460bn). Organic revenue growth +3.8%.
Comparable store sales growth in US was +1.9% (CSS 1.0%, KBCS 0.5%).
Comparable store sales growth in Belgium was +2.4% (CSS 0.9%, KBCS 0.8%)
Underlying operating profit was € 214m (+13.7% at identical FX or +13.0% at actual FX) – consensus estimate is € 175m, KBCS € 158m
- Underlying operating margin was 4.2% in US (3.7% in 1Q12)(CSS 3.4%, KBCS 3.0%). As a result of positive sales leverage supported by favourable calendar impact amongst others. Underlying operating margin in Belgium was 5.1% (4.6% in 1Q12)(CSS 4.2%, KBCS 4.0%).
- Underlying operating margin in South Eastern Europe decreased to 1.4% (2.0% in 1Q12)(CSS 2.1%, KBCS 2.0%)
- Underlying EBITDA was up 7.1% at identical FX to € 369m.
- 2013 outlook :
expects underlying operating profit of approximately € 775m for FY13 at identical FX (KBCS € 734m, CSS € 751m).
announced to postpone its CMD, originally scheduledfor 8 May, in order to allow the company to provide a more comprehensive update on business and LT strategy
We positively surprised by the extent of the margin improvement in 1Q13 because we had counted on a back-loaded margin improvement this year as one third of the Food Lion stores are being relaunched this year. The results show that the group is on the right track to improve its sales momentum. We are raising our target price from € 42 to € 50 and maintain our BUY rating.