June 20 (Reuters) - Belgian supermarket group Colruyt on Tuesday reported full-year net profit above analysts’ estimates, lifted by a 19 million euro ($21.13 million) gain on the sale of its French food service business Pro a Pro.
The 2016/17 net profit increased by 17 million euros to 383.2 million euros, beating the 375 million euros seen in a Reuters poll of eight analysts.
Excluding the gain from the sale of Pro a Pro to German retailer Metro , annual net profit amounted to 364 million euros.
The gross profit margin for the fiscal year ending in March remained stable despite falling in the second half due to price pressure.
Belgium’s largest retailer, which competes with Carrefour and Ahold Delhaize’s Delhaize and Albert Heijn stores, as well as German discounters Aldi and Lidl, kept its market share stable to 31.7 pct (versus 31.5 last year).
The group will propose a gross dividend of 1.18 euros per share.
“We expect the market to remain competitive in 2017/18 and do not anticipate a significant upturn in the economic climate in Belgium and France in the short term,” it said.
Traditionally, the group provides its forecast for its financial year to March 31 at its shareholders’ meeting in September. ($1 = 0.8990 euros) (Reporting by Manon Jacob; Editing by Adrian Croft)