New York -- Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize Group said that its fourth quarter net profit dropped 48%, hurt by impairments resulting from its restructuring. It also announced that Mats Jansson will be the new chairman of the board, and that Pierre Bouchut will succeed Stefan Descheemaeker as CFO, effective March 19.
The company, whose U.S. holdings include the Food Lion, Hannaford Bros. and Sweetbay banners, said it will accelerate the revamp of its stores in the United States and Belgium to increase its competitiveness.
It will close 146 underperforming stores, mainly in the United States. The company will also convert existing supermarkets to its discount formula Bottom Dollar Food and open between 20 and 50 new stores this year.