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Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV ADR ADRNY

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Ahold Delhaize Introduces Strong Top-Line Growth Aspirations; Explores Sub-IPO for

Analyst Note

| Ioannis Pontikis, CFA |

Ahead of its capital markets day on Nov. 15, Ahold Delhaize announced its new and refreshed investment plan to accelerate growth and drive more customer value. As part of this plan, the group expects to accelerate sale growth rates with about EUR 10 billion of incremental sales over 2023-25 (versus EUR 3.2 billion in our model), generate cumulative cost savings of about EUR 4 billion (2022-25) and introduce a new EUR 1 billion share buyback program for 2022 (EUR 1 billion in our model). In online, net consumer online sales are expected to double and achieve fully allocated e-commerce profitability (expected by 2025 but not disclosed). Within this, Ahold Delhaize disclosed's projected 2021 net consumer online sales and EBITDA of about EUR 5.5 billion and EUR 150 million-170 million (implying 3% margin), which the group expects to double by 2025. The investment plan will result in an increased capital expenditure budget of 3.5% from 3% of sales previously (versus 3% and declining over the years in our model). Interestingly, cumulative free cash flow for 2022-25 is expected to be over EUR 6 billion or EUR 1.5 billion per year on average, significantly lower than our estimates (about EUR 8.6 billion for the same period in our model). This is certainly a positive set of targets for Ahold Delhaize, and although free cash flow expectations were a negative surprise, we think this is a function of a growth-orientated investment plan. We expect to increase our fair value estimate for Ahold Delhaize by a mid- to high-single-digit percentage after incorporating part of the very ambitious sales growth targets, the positive effect of which will be partially offset by higher investments (and lower free cash flow generation) over the 2022-25 investment period. A potential IPO can unlock additional value for the group as valuations attached to online retailers with long growth runaways can be significantly higher than that of a slow-growing grocer.

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Company Profile

Business Description

Ahold Delhaize is the product of the July 2016 merger between Netherlands-based Ahold and Belgium's Delhaize, forming the fourth-largest grocer in the U.S. and a top player in many parts of Europe. The United States is the largest market, accounting for about 60% of group sales, with Ahold Delhaize the leading grocer on the Eastern seaboard. The U.S. store network stretches from Maine to Georgia and includes such banners as Stop & Shop, Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Food Lion, Hannaford, and Peapod. The Netherlands, Belgium and Central and Southeastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, Greece, Romania, and Serbia account for about 40% and Ahold Delhaize holds the number-one and number-two positions in these countries.

Provincialeweg 11
Zaandam, NH, 1506 MA, Netherlands
T +31 886595100
Sector Consumer Defensive
Industry Grocery Stores
Most Recent Earnings Sep 30, 2021
Fiscal Year End Jan 3, 2022
Stock Type
Employees 410,000