Ahold: Jan Hommen will resume his role as Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2015-4-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold announces that Jan Hommen will resume his role as Chairman of the Supervisory Board with immediate effect after temporarily stepping down as Chairman on June 14, 2014.

Upon resuming his role as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Jan Hommen will chair the upcoming 2015 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 15.

Rob van den Bergh, who replaced Jan Hommen ad interim, will remain on the Supervisory Board, as Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and as a member of the Selection and Appointment Committee.

Additional information on the composition of the Supervisory Board is available here.

Cautionary notice

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, as mostly detailed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Ahold does not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release, except as may be required by applicable laws. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, also presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or “Ahold”.

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MARKS AND SPENCER QUARTER 4 2014/15: Food outperformed the market; General Merchandise performance improved

MARKS AND SPENCER GROUP PLC QUARTER 4 2014/15 TRADING STATEMENT 13 WEEKS TO 28 MARCH 2015

LONDON, 2015-4-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — ‘Food outperformed the market; General Merchandise performance improved’

Marks & Spencer continued to make strong progress against its four priorities for the year:

1) Food business outperformed the market

  • Another strong performance in a difficult market: sales +3.7%; LFL +0.7%
  • Specialist positioning continues to set us apart; record Valentine’s sales
  • New Simply Food stores performing well

2) GM and Womenswear sales performance improved

  • General Merchandise: sales +1.3%, LFL +0.7%
  • Customers recognising continued improvement in product quality and styling
  • M&S.com sales back in growth as planned: sales +13.8%

3) General Merchandise gross margin improvement on track

  • Good progress on gross margin: guidance unchanged at +150 to +200bps
  • Full price sales up, discount participation slightly lower

4) Strong cash generation

  • Improved operating costs performance: guidance improved from c. +2.0% to c. +1.5%
  • Continued tight control of costs and capital expenditure

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said:

“We have made strong progress over the quarter. In Food we delivered another excellent performance, with sales growth ahead of the market. We continued to deliver on General Merchandise gross margin, and are pleased that we have achieved this whilst also improving General Merchandise sales. M&S.com has returned to growth, as planned, with further improvement in customer metrics.”

Trading summary

Food sales grew both at total and like-for-like level, as our specialist positioning continued to deliver results, in a difficult, deflationary quarter for the food market. Customers turned to us for special times of the year as well as everyday quality they can trust. We had a record Valentine’s Day and launched over 350 new products over the quarter. We continue to invest in price in order to stay competitive while protecting the gross margin, with full year guidance of +10 to +30bps unchanged.

General Merchandise performance improved this quarter, driven by continued focus on product quality and styling. Our Spring/Summer ranges have been well received by customers, as evidenced by strong improvement in customer research scores, as well as great fashion press coverage, including that of our iconic suede skirt. In line with our plan for the year, we promoted less and focused more on full price sales. However, this was partly off-set by more stock going into the Christmas sale as a result of the unseasonal conditions through the Autumn/Winter season.

Macro-economic issues particularly in our Russia, Ukraine and Turkey franchise partnership, coupled with further weakening in the Euro, have significantly impacted International second half profit.  Our key priority markets such as India continue to perform well.

M&S.com sales returned to growth as planned, with the website metrics including traffic, conversion and customer satisfaction continuing to improve. Our new distribution centre at Castle Donington performed well during the quarter.

Against the backdrop of recovering consumer confidence but continuing low inflation, our strategy remains to become an International Multi-channel retailer with focus on: General Merchandise gross margin and sales; cash flow and continuing growth in Food sales.

Marks and Spencer Group plc will report its full year results on 20 May 2015.

 

Fourth quarter sales

13 weeks to

28 March 2015

Food

–          Like-for-like

+3.7%

+0.7%

General Merchandise1

–          Like-for-like

 +1.3%

+0.7%

M&S.com sales2

 

+13.8%
Total UK sales

–          Like-for-like

+2.7%

+0.7%

International sales3 -3.8%
Group sales3 +1.9%

1Clothing sales were +1.2%, LFL +0.6%

2Memo only

3Stated on ex-VAT and constant currency basis. International sales at actual currency were -6.3% and Group sales were +1.6%.

Statements made in this announcement that look forward in time or that express management’s beliefs, expectations or estimates regarding future occurrences and prospects are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements reflect Marks & Spencer’s current expectations concerning future events and actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including failure by Marks & Spencer to predict accurately customer preferences; decline in the demand for products offered by Marks & Spencer; competitive influences; changes in levels of store traffic or consumer spending habits; effectiveness of Marks & Spencer’s brand awareness and marketing programmes; general economic conditions or a downturn in the retail or financial services industries; acts of war or terrorism worldwide; work stoppages, slowdowns or strikes; and changes in financial and equity markets.

For further information, please contact: 

Investor Relations:

Majda Rainer+44 (0)20 8718 1563
Helen Cox+44 (0)20 8718 8491

Corporate Press Office:+44 (0)20 8718 1919
Out of hours calls:+44 (0)20 8718 2000

Investors & Analysts Conference Call:

This will be hosted by Marc Bolland at 8.30am on Thursday 2 April 2015:

Dial in number: +44 (0)20 3427 1901
Access Code: 8933609

A recording of this call will be available until 17 April 2015:

Dial in number: +44 (0)20 3427 0598
Access Code: 8933609

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Students at Kensington and Chelsea Millinery College helped Sainsbury’s to launch its Easter egg packaging recycling scheme

LONDON, 2015-4-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — Students at Kensington and Chelsea Millinery College have helped Sainsbury’s to launch its Easter egg packaging recycling scheme with a new twist on the traditional Easter bonnet parade.

  • Kensington & Chelsea students create Easter bonnet – entirely from recycled Easter egg packaging
  • Sainsbury’s is providing special recycling points for Easter egg cardboard and plastic in 400 stores nationwide this year

The school – famous for developing millinery talent – have built an Easter bonnet entirely from recycled Easter egg packaging materials.

Sainsbury’s is the first supermarket to offer a dedicated Easter egg packaging in its stores – rolling it out to 400 supermarkets ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend.

The recycling facility will allow shoppers to recycle their Easter egg packaging including plastic, film and card and will be available from 3rd to 14th April in 400 Sainsbury’s supermarkets.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability at Sainsbury’s said: “We’re eggcited to bring back our Easter recycling scheme with this fantastic Easter bonnet parade.

At Sainsbury’s we’re constantly thinking of new ways to help customers waste less – and once the chocolate eggs are eaten over the bank holiday, it’s never been easier to recycle their packaging.”

Katie McIntyre, Performance Manager, Fashion and Millinery at Kensington and Chelsea College said: “It was with great pleasure that the students from the world renowned HNC Millinery course at Kensington and Chelsea College took a break from producing their beautiful individual collections to work together to support Sainsbury’s Easter egg packaging recycling.

“Students from this programme progress from the college to work with some of the most important milliners (both in England and abroad), prestigious M.A. courses or self-employment.

“Creativity and imagination is at the heart of the hats we produce at the college and working with a variety of interesting materials broadens the students’ horizons. It was very exciting to apply traditional and innovative millinery techniques to unusual products and fantastic that the student’s hard work was ultimately rewarded with a generous supply of Sainsbury’s chocolate.”

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Students at Kensington and Chelsea Millinery College helped Sainsbury’s to launch its Easter egg packaging recycling scheme

Students at Kensington and Chelsea Millinery College helped Sainsbury’s to launch its Easter egg packaging recycling scheme