Feb 14 (Reuters) - Supermarket group Ahold Delhaize expects its 2024 performance to be consistent with last year, predicting an underlying operating margin of at least 4% and earnings per share around 2023 levels, it said on Wednesday.

The group, which operates the Stop & Shop, Giant, Food Lion and Hannaford chains in the United States and Albert Heijn and Delhaize chains in the Netherlands and Belgium, reported a 2023 underlying operating margin of 4.1% and underlying earnings up 1.8% at 2.54 euros per share.

Ahold Delhaize had trimmed 2023 earnings guidance in November after flagging margin weakness in the United States after two years of inflation-driven profit gains across the sector.

""For 2024 we expect a predominantly consistent performance year over year, albeit with some different phasing across the quarters ... and the various positive and negative impacts of the prior year's transformational initiatives in Europe and the U.S.," President and Chief Executive Frans Muller said in a statment.

Muller added that disciplined cost management will be more important than ever to contain price increases for customers, especially at a time when global conflicts create potential volatility in supply chains. ($1 = 0.9331 euros) (Reporting by Diana Mandiá in Gdansk Editing by Shri Navaratnam and David Goodman)