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Ahold Delhaize: quarterly results convince markets

( - Dutch retailer Ahold Delhaize beat market forecasts on Wednesday, even though its third-quarter net profit fell slightly.

The company posted net profit of 453 million euros for July to September, down slightly from the 460 million euros announced a year ago.

However, operating income rose to 679 million euros, from 671 million a year ago.

Net sales in the Netherlands rose by 4.4% to 3.6 billion euros, with comparable sales growth of 3%.

In the third quarter, net sales in the United States grew by 2% at constant exchange rates to 10.25 billion euros.

Ahold Delhaize reiterated its 2019 outlook.

"The group's results in the US are continuing towards satisfactory top-line growth (...), with a margin maintained at profitable levels," said Parisian broker Invest Secutities, which has raised its target price from 29 euros to 29.4 euros.

The shares are currently up 3% at 23.8 dollars, outperforming a 0.5% rise in the Euro STOXX Retail index.

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