Ahold reports strong growth in Europe

6th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 August 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - Royal Ahold NV, the grocery chain operator, said in a trading statement Friday that second-quarter sales rose 2 percent to EUR 6.60 billion, reflecting good growth in Europe, but marginal growth in the United States and a weak dollar.

6 August 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Royal Ahold NV, the grocery chain operator, said in a trading statement Friday that second-quarter sales rose 2 percent to EUR 6.60 billion, reflecting good growth in Europe, but marginal growth in the United States and a weak dollar.

The Dutch company, which operates Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and the Stop & Shop and Giant chains in the U.S., is not due to report second-quarter earnings until 30 August. It said that, without the impact of the dollar, sales would have been up 5.6 percent.

"Market conditions in both the United States and the Netherlands were favourable," the company said in a statement, adding that current restructuring programs were likely to hurt U.S. margins.

Analysts said the report was in line with expectations and shares rose 0.1 percent to EUR 9.13 in Amsterdam.

Among its major arms, Ahold reported a 1.9 percent increase in sales at its Stop & Shop chain to USD 3.9 billion (EUR 2.8 billion), a 14 percent increase at its Giant-Carlisle chain to USD 1 billion (EUR 732 million), due mostly to an acquisition, and a 10 percent increase at its Dutch Albert Heijn stores to EUR 1.8 billion (USD 2.46 billion).

Ahold reported first-quarter net profit was of EUR 237 million on sales of EUR 13.2 billion.

In May, Ahold announced an agreement to sell bulk food distributor U.S. Foodservice to private investors for USD 7.1 billion (EUR 5.3 billion), cutting ties with the subsidiary whose accounting scandal caused it to overstate earnings by around USD 1 billion from 1999 through 2002.

Them move greatly reduced the company's size, returning it to its roots as a pure grocery retailer. Ahold used the proceeds to cut debt and return money to shareholders and is now seen as a candidate to be taken over in whole or part, given that its U.S. and European arms have little business overlap.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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