Dutch retailer Ahold sales get boost from dollar, online business
Dutch retail giant Ahold Thursday announced sales had soared in 2015 by 16.6 percent to 38.2 billion euros ($41.6 billion) buoyed by a strong dollar.
The group -- which announced its merger with Belgian rival Delhaize in June -- also signalled that online sales were rising and that it had benefitted from an extra trading week in 2015, against 52 in 2014.
Based in Zaandam in the Netherlands, the group is particularly active in the United States where it earns two-thirds of its revenue, and in Europe.
When adjusted for constant exchange rates and number of trading weeks, net sales for 2105 were up 2.3 percent, Ahold said in a statement.
Net sales in the United States were up 21.3 percent to 23.7 billion euros, but adjusted for the currency rate and extra trading week they had in fact fallen 0.5 percent on 2014.
The group had also made gains from the closure of rival stores in New York.
In the Netherlands, which includes activity at its supermarket chains such as Albert Heijn and Internet distributor bol.com, net sales were up 8.6 percent to 11.7 billion euros (6.3 percent after adjustments).
This rise in its home base was largely thanks to online sales, which leaped some 30 percent in the fourth quarter.
The merger of Ahold and Delhaize created one of the world's largest retailing groups, with a combined turnover of 54 billion euros ($61 billion).
The Dutch group has more than 3,200 stores in North America and Europe, and employs some 227,000 people.
© 2016 AFP