Dutch-Belgian retail group Ahold Delhaize has had an excellent quarter, as corona-related stockpiling pushed its turnover 15 % higher. In March, American comparable growth was even 34 %.
Covid-19 caused a significant raise in turnover during the company's first quarter: a press release mentions results on the rise in both Europe and North America. The retailer expects quarterly turnover to rise some 15 % (detailed results will only be published on 7 May). March, the month in which European and American customers really started stockpiling, those figures shot higher: comparable growth for the month was 16 % in Europe and even 34 % in the United States.
It is, however, as of yet uncertain how big the positive impact will be on the full-year results: CEO Frans Muller said it was still too early to make forecasts as the coronavirus causes too much uncertainty. It can not be reliably forecast which effects the changes in consumers' shopping patterns will have on the rest of the year, Muller said.
While it is true that supermarkets saw their turnover rise faster than most other sectors, their costs increased as well. Ahold Delhaize has already invested 170 million euros in new measures, combining investments in employee safety with donations to charities and other new costs. These investments will also have a certain impact on the operational margins in the quarters to come.