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    Ahold Posts Flat Q2 Sales

    AMSTERDAM - Royal Ahold here yesterday reported sales for the second quarter of 2006 of 10.5 billion euros (US $13.4 billion), a result "virtually unchanged from the same period last year," according to the retail conglomerate. Excluding exchange rate changes, the company's net sales rose 2.2 percent, it said.

    AMSTERDAM - Royal Ahold here yesterday reported sales for the second quarter of 2006 of 10.5 billion euros (US $13.4 billion), a result "virtually unchanged from the same period last year," according to the retail conglomerate. Excluding exchange rate changes, the company's net sales rose 2.2 percent, it said.

    Ahold blamed its lackluster results on the negative effects of competitive market conditions and, especially in the United States, high energy costs on consumer behavior. However, further improvements at Giant-Landover and the recent shedding of 46 Ohio Tops Markets stores should have a positive effect on those divisions, it added.

    As for its U.S. Foodservice business, although the multiunit food service segment of it is growing faster than the broadline foodservice arm, the division "continues to make solid progress to meet its full-year 2006 operating margin target," according to Ahold.

    At the Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division, sales grew 1.3 percent to $3.9 billion. Excluding the sales to Bi-Lo/Bruno's of $23 million in 2005), sales went up 1.9 percent. Stop & Shop's identical sales declined 0.5 percent (1.7 percent excluding sales of gas), while Giant-Landover's dipped 0.9 percent. Comparable sales at both banners also decreased, 0.2 percent at Stop & Shop and 0.4 percent at Giant-Landover.

    The Giant-Carlisle/Tops arena posted a decrease in sales of 3.9 percent, to $1.4 billion. Identical sales rose 5 percent (2.4 percent excluding gas net sales) at Giant-Carlisle, but plunged 5.3 percent (6.9 percent excluding net sales of gasoline) at Tops. Similarly, while comparable sales grew 7.3 percent at Giant-Carlisle, they decreased 4.5 percent at Tops.

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