Netherlands-based multinational retailer Ahold Delhaize has registered €75.6bn ($86.04bn) in full-year sales for the fiscal year 2021 (FY21), a 3.3% year-on-year increase at constant exchange rates.

The company’s comparable sales growth, excluding sales of gas, was 2.3%, while its net consumer online sales for the year increased by 38.2% at constant exchange rates from FY20.

In the 52 weeks to 31 December, Ahold Delhaize’s operating income was up by 62.2% and its diluted underlying earnings per share (EPS) stood at €2.19.

The company’s group net sales for the fourth quarter (Q4) were €20.1bn, up by 0.1% at constant exchange rates.

Ahold Delhaize’s consumer online sales for the quarter grew by 13.2% at constant exchange rates compared to Q4 2020.

The company’s net income for the quarter was €634m and its Q4 diluted underlying EPS amounted to €0.59.

Ahold Delhaize president and CEO Frans Muller said: “Our financial results in 2021 significantly exceeded our original expectations, with positive full-year comparable sales growth and stable 52-week comparable underlying earnings compared to record results in 2020.

“This was despite supply chain challenges, increasing inflationary pressures and the dilutive effect as we continue to rapidly expand our omnichannel proposition.

“Our investment in our omnichannel platform once again proved its worth during 2021, with group net consumer online sales growing by more than 38% compared to 2020, representing a two-year stack growth of more than 105%.

“This positively impacted our 2021 group net sales, which, at €75.6bn, remained elevated – up 3.3% versus 2020 at constant rates.”

Ahold Delhaize expects its underlying operating margin for FY22 to be at least 4%, while its underlying EPS are projected to decline by low to mid-single digits compared with last year.

The company plans to expedite its omnichannel investments to capture incremental growth opportunities, having announced a growth and investment plan in November last year.