Ahold supermarkets see sales rise despite recession

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Net sales for the Dutch supermarket group rose by 15.2 percent to EUR 8.7 billion in the first quarter of this year.

THE HAGUE – Dutch supermarket group Ahold said Wednesday that its net sales rose by 15.2 percent in the first quarter of this year to EUR 8.7 billion.

"In Europe and the United States, our performance remained solid and we continued to focus on striking a balance between sales growth, market share and margin," the company said in a statement.

The results were in line with expectations of analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, which expected on average sales of EUR 8.6 billion for the quarter.

However, if the strengthening dollar rate is taken into account, the increase amounts only to 6.2 percent.

The group's flagship Albert Heijn supermarket chain performed particularly well, with a rise in net sales of 12.3 percent.

The increase is partly due to last year's takeover of the C1000 supermarkets. In the US, Ahold posts 50 percent of turnover in the United States.

Presenting the figures, Ahold chief John Rishton said that group had not observed any change in its customers' purchasing habits, in spite of the recession.

The company is to release first quarter earnings on 28 May.

AFP / Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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