Dow Jones Newswires: Ahold Delhaize net sales rise 2.9%

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Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV said Wednesday that third-quarter net sales rose 2.9% at constant exchange rates, benefiting from strong net consumer online sales.

The Dutch retailer AD, +2.60%  said net sales reached 16.7 billion euros ($18.5 billion) in the quarter, while U.S. comparable sales growth rose 1.8%, excluding gasoline.

U.S. online sales growth rose to 26% at constant exchange rates, and the company said it is confident it can achieve more than 20% growth in online sales in 2019.

The company made an operating income of EUR679 million in the period, with underlying earnings per share from continuing operations of EUR0.44, up 5.2% year-over-year.

Ahold Delhaize said it is well under way with its “Save for our Customers” program, which is now expected to achieve savings of EUR600 million in 2019, higher than its previous target of EUR540 million.

The company reiterated its 2019 outlook of EUR2 billion of free cash flow, with capital expenditure of EUR2 billion. Moreover, it said it expects underlying income per share from continuing business to grow by high single digits as a percentage.