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    Ahold's U.S. Banners Continue Mixed Performance

    AMSTERDAM -- Ahold Friday reported consolidated net sales of 6.6 billion euros (US $9.7 billion) for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, 2007, an increase of 0.2 percent compared with the year-ago period. For the full year, sales of 28.2 billion (US $41.4 billion) euros were 1.2 percent higher than last year.

    AMSTERDAM -- Ahold Friday reported consolidated net sales of 6.6 billion euros (US $9.7 billion) for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, 2007, an increase of 0.2 percent compared with the year-ago period. For the full year, sales of 28.2 billion (US $41.4 billion) euros were 1.2 percent higher than last year.

    The U.S. banners, however, presented a mixed bag as the retail conglomerate continues to bet on a so-far successful price-slashing program.

    “In the United States, the turbulent economic environment did not have a significant impact on local market conditions,” noted the retailer in a statement. “Price investments related to the further rollout of the Value Improvement Program, launched in September 2006 at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover, will continue to impact margins.”

    At the Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover arena, fourth-quarter sales increased 2.0 percent to $3.9 billion. Identical sales for the quarter rose 2.7 percent at Stop & Shop (1.2 percent excluding gasoline net sales), while they fell 0.5 percent at Giant-Landover because of lower pharmacy sales. Fourth-quarter comparable sales grew 3.1 percent at Stop & Shop and declined 0.3 percent at Giant-Landover.

    For the full year, sales at Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover increased 1.5 percent to $16.7 billion. Identical sales for the period rose 1.3 percent at Stop & Shop (0.6 percent excluding gasoline net sales) and fell 1.1 percent at Giant-Landover.

    Comps for the full year grew 1.7 percent at Stop & Shop and declined 0.9 percent at Giant-Landover.

    At Giant-Carlisle, fourth-quarter sales went up 8.6 percent to $1 billion, partly because of the acquisition of the Clemens Markets stores in the fourth quarter of 2006. Identical sales for the quarter rose 4.8 percent (3.8 percent excluding gasoline net sales). Fourth-quarter comps grew 5.7 percent.

    For the full year Giant-Carlisle’s sales rose 13.0 percent to $4.3 billion, due in part to the Clemens acquisition. Identical sales for the period increased 3.7 percent (3.2 percent excluding gasoline net sales), and comps grew 5.1 percent.


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