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Ahold has posted consolidated net sales of 9.8 billion euros for the fourth quarter of 2015, a 21.4 percent increase over the year-ago period, while net sales rose 11.8 percent.
For the full year 2015, consolidated net sales were 38.2 billion euros, up 16.6 percent from 2014. Net sales increased 4.3 percent.
According to the Netherlands-based retail conglomerate, consolidated net sales in Q4 and for the full year 2015 included a positive impact from an additional week versus 2014. Q4 and full-year net sales grew 3.1 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, on an adjusted basis, and rose 4.3 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, excluding gasoline.
In the U.S., Q4 sales excluding gas, adjusted for an additional week in 2015, climbed 4.1 percent from the year-ago period. Also during the quarter, Ahold converted 25 acquired former A&P stores to its Northeastern Stop & Shop banner. Identical-sales excluding gas were up 1.6 percent, which the company attributed to competitor store closures in the New York metropolitan area. Ahold further noted that market share for Q4 and full year were higher than last year.
The company added that it expected Q4 underlying operating margin to be higher than the previous quarter, positively affected by the additional week in the quarter, and for free cash flow for the year to be ahead of last year, including the capital needed to convert the former A&P stores.