Ahold Delhaize posted net sales of 21.6 billion euros in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 6.3 percent. This results in a higher net profit, but the company is not going to have a carefree year.
The figures are ‘rock solid’, says market analyst Jean-Paul van Oudheusden of trading platform eToro. Still, according to him, Ahold Delhaize feels the recession is approaching, especially because of the high costs of energy that the company has to contend with. ‘If you have to keep all those stores running, you’re always watching with excitement and thinking: what would 2023 bring? So it’s not time for crazy things, they have to keep it all neatly within the lines.’
In addition, the strikes of the employees of Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and the Belgian Delhaize also play a role. ‘You can see in the results that the margins are really under pressure. What you see with other companies is that turnover is growing, especially because prices went up even faster than inflation. You certainly don’t see that at Ahold Delhaize. All these factors contribute to the fact that the margins are a bit lower, certainly compared to the fourth quarter.’
According to Van Oudheusden, Ahold Delhaize is therefore facing an exciting year. ‘What will energy prices do? How much money does the consumer have left over? In the supermarket business it is about basic necessities of life, so that customer will keep coming. You don’t have to worry very much. But as I said: if there is more economic contraction, you will see it and the results will be less euphoric than for the whole of 2022.’