By Matteo Castia
Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV reported Wednesday a rise in underlying operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 on higher revenue.
The Dutch grocer made an underlying operating profit of 811 million euros ($981.8 million) for the quarter, 11% higher than in the year-earlier period. Coronavirus-related costs amounted to EUR210 million in the fourth quarter and EUR680 million in the whole of 2020, it added.
Net sales rose to EUR19.60 billion from EUR17.38 billion the prior year. Analysts had forecast the figure to stand at EUR18.59 billion.
The board declared a yearly dividend of 90 European cents, up from 76 European cents a year earlier.
Full-year underlying operating profit and revenue came in at EUR3.59 billion and EUR74.74 billion, respectively.
The company said it remains committed to its EUR1 billion share buyback program, but that the initiative will continue to remain subject to macroeconomic developments and changes in corporate activities such as large acquisitions.
Ahold Delhaize added that it expects continued significant uncertainty this year due to the pandemic.