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    Ahold’s Interim Report Shows ‘Solid’ Q1 Results

    Retailer helped by timing of Easter, U.S. banner sales and margins

    Ahold’s interim report for the first quarter 2011 revealed that net sales increased 5.9 percent (6.0 percent at constant exchange rates) to 9.3 billion euros, operating income was up 8.6 percent to 444 million euros, net income rose 6.2 percent to 291 euros, and underlying retail operating margin grew 4.9 percent.

    “We delivered solid results and increased volumes in all our markets despite challenging market conditions, with customers continuing to focus on value,” said Dick Boer, CEO of the Amsterdam-based retail conglomerate. “In the United States we had particularly strong sales and margins, partially due to the timing of Easter. … We will continue to manage the balance between sales and margins in a challenging environment of inflation and intense promotional activity, especially in the United States.”

    At Ahold USA, net sales were $7.6 billion, a 7.4 percent rise, and identical sales were up 5.0 percent (3.2 percent excluding gasoline). Operating income was $350 million, or 4.6 percent of net sales, an increase of $55 million. Operating income included $8 million of reorganization and IT integration costs, while last year’s operating income included a $12 million charge resulting from the alignment of inventory valuation across the U.S. divisions.
     

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