Ahold Delhaize is entering 2021 with a bold, new strategy. Recently, the company announced it has authorized a new €1 billion ($1.17 billion) share buyback program. The news coincides with strong quarter three results for the company, reporting net sales at €17.8 billion (around $20.8 billion USD), which is up 6.8 percent or 10.1 percent at constant exchange rates. Ahold is continuing to build on the company’s strength as it announces initiatives to solidify its position in the local omnichannel market in 2021 and beyond.
"We continue to adapt to changes we are seeing in consumer shopping patterns and behavior,” said Frans Muller, President and CEO. “Over the coming years, we will invest in our business to solidify our position as an industry-leading local omnichannel retailer and increase our share of the consumer wallet. We will find ways to improve our online productivity and are on track to achieve the €1.9 billion ($2.23 billion) cumulative cost savings target by 2021. To benefit all of our stakeholders, we aim to strike the appropriate balance between investing in the health and safety of associates and customers; supporting our local communities; prioritizing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives; and returning capital to shareholders.”
Maintaining a balanced approach between funding growth in key channels and returning excess liquidity to shareholders is part of Ahold’s financial framework and supports its Leading Together strategy. According to a press release, the purpose of the share buyback program is to reduce the capital of Ahold Delhaize by canceling all or part of the common shares acquired through the program. The program will be executed within the limits of relevant laws and regulations, the existing authority granted at Ahold’s 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders on April 8, 2020, and the authority (if granted) by the 2021 annual general meeting on April 14, 2021.
As COVID-19 continues to pose challenges, Ahold aims to strike an appropriate balance between important investments in additional safety measures, enhanced associate pay and benefits, and significant charitable donations, which has thus far resulted in approximately €470 million ($555.44 million) in COVID-19-related costs year to date.
Ahold Delhaize will provide regular updates on the progress of the program by means of press releases. To read the buyback report in full, please click here. And to read the financial details of the quarter three release, please click here.
How will Ahold’s new plan unfold in the coming months? Deli Market News will continue to report.