Dutch retail group Ahold reports higher sales in 2009
Dutch retail giant Ahold announced on Thursday that its net sales rose to EUR 27.9 billion (USD 39.3 billion) in 2009, an 8.9 percent hike from the previous year.The Hague--The company, which owns supermarkets in the United States and Europe, reported sales of EUR 6.8 billion in the fourth quarter which ended on January 3, a 3.4 percent rise from the same period in 2008.
Ahold beat the forecast by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires of EUR 6.7 billion in fourth quarter sales.
The retail group said the increase in the full-year and fourth-quarter figures were fueled by an additional week of sales at the end of 2009.
"Ahold delivered strong volume growth in all markets in the fourth quarter. Sales were impacted by deflation and trading down by customers while increased promotional activity continued," the company said in a statement.
At constant exchange rates Ahold's sales rose by 11 percent in the fourth quarter and six percent for the year.
The retail group's supermarkets include the Stop & Shop and Giant chains in the United States and Albert Heijn, Albert and ICA in Europe.