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Ahold Delhaize restates FY'18 results over new accounting rule

Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV said March 25 that its fiscal 2018 underlying EPS came in at €1.57, from the €1.60 full-year figure reported on Feb. 27, after accounting for the new international standard that requires lease obligations to be moved to the balance sheet.

The restated figure still surpassed the mean consensus of analysts' estimates for normalized EPS of €1.55, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The food retailer said the International Financial Reporting Standards' new accounting rule will not impact the group's cash or how the business is managed, as well as its funding structure and credit ratings for the recently concluded year.

However, IFRS 16, effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after Jan. 1, will affect the Dutch company's balance sheet and income statement, among others, as it leases a significant number of its assets, such as stores, distribution centers and offices.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, Ahold Delhaize said its underlying operating margin rose 0.3 percentage points to 4.4%. Meanwhile, the company's net debt by 2018-end increased to €11 billion and its free cash flow decreased €177 million to repay finance leases not previously included in the accounting rule.

Ahold Delhaize maintained its fiscal 2019 guidance for underlying EPS to grow high-single-digit percentage and for group margin to be steady from the previous year's restated figure.