Criticism of ‘criminal’ high profit Ahold unjustified: ‘Most part comes from America’

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Ahold Delhaize, the parent company of Albert Heijn, recorded the highest profit in ten years in 2022. ‘Criminal’, says SP leader Lilian Marijnissen. But that is too short sighted according to stock market analyst Jos Versteeg: ‘Ahold gets 75 percent of its results from America.’

Listen here to the entire episode of BNR Beurs about the criticism of the record profit. Which other companies manage to pass on price increases? BNR Beurs can also be found in your favorite podcast app.

While groceries have become 17 percent more expensive, Ahold is making one of its highest profits ever. More and more people cannot afford the high prices, Marijnissen notes.

‘At the supermarket in my neighborhood, the cashier told me with tears in her eyes how people can’t pay for groceries, have to put them back, get angry with her.’ Marijnissen therefore calls Ahold’s profit ‘criminal’.

Also listen | Everything is outrageously expensive: this is not a problem for these companies


Moreover, at first glance, the profit seems inconsistent with Ahold’s own goal of keeping groceries ‘affordable’. But the extra income mainly comes from America, says analyst Jos Versteeg of InsingerGilissen in BNR Beurs. The company earns almost two-thirds of its turnover there. In contrast, Ahold’s profit margin is under pressure in Europe, according to Versteeg.

The profit margin, which the supermarket uses to measure how much it can earn itself from products sold, fell in Europe from 4.3 percent in 2021 to 3.6 percent last year.

America camouflages problems

‘Many other companies are also doing worse in Europe than in America,’ says Versteeg. ‘You see that at a whole list of companies: supermarkets, food companies and beer brewers.’ According to him, the good figures from America camouflage the problems in Europe. ‘The operating result is also under considerable pressure at Heineken.’

Versteeg thinks that Americans deal more easily with price increases and points to growing retail sales for this. ‘This is partly due to the good employment opportunities. But Americans, for example, are also less affected by high prices at the pump.’

Also listen | Heineken and Ahold wet dream investors: ‘Can prices continue to increase’

(ANP / Dutch height / Peter Hilz )

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