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    Ahold Posts ‘Strong’ Q2

    U.S. margins ‘resilient,’ due to cost control

    Ahold posted sales of $9.8 billion for its second quarter of 2015, up 17.1 percent from the year-ago. U.S. sales excluding gas were up 2.1 percent for Q2, which the company said reflected an improved customer proposition, and consumer online sales were up 22.8 percent.

    "We had a strong quarter and are pleased with the financial performance across our business," said Dick Boer, CEO of Amsterdam-based Ahold. "We grew sales, operating income and net income and delivered strong free cash flow."

    Added Boer: "For the fourth consecutive quarter, we grew volume market share in the United States and our margins were resilient, as a result of ongoing cost control."

    The Total Picture

    Total Q2 net sales of $6.06 billion were up 22.5 percent, although 0.3 percent lower than last year as a result of lower gas sales. Excluding gas, net sales were 2.1 percent higher than last year, while identical sales edged up 1.8 percent.

    Q2 saw the completion of the first phase of the company's program to improve its customer proposition, with continued positive performance reported in stores where the program has been in effect for more than a year

    Under the program, Ahold is introducing a new produce department format that rolled out to another 92 stores during Q2, bringing the total to 167 stores.

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