Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 

Supermarket operator Ahold profit drops in Q4

Send a link to a friend

[March 04, 2010]  AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch owner of the Stop & Shop and Giant supermarket chains in the US, reported an 8.2 percent fall in profit for the fourth quarter on Thursday.

InsuranceThe company said sales and margins were hit by deflation.

Net profit was euro267 million ($365 million), compared with euro291 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales rose 3.3 percent to euro6.80 billion, mostly due to growth at its Dutch stores.

"Sales and margins continued to be impacted by deflation, trading down and increased promotions," Chief Executive John Rishton said in a statement. Trading down means customers preferred cheaper brands. More promotions means Ahold offered more bargains to attract customers, which hurts the company's margins.


Rishton noted that while operating margins fell to 5.4 percent from 6.1 percent a year ago, the company grew volumes and market share in both the U.S. and Netherlands.

Sales were down 1 percent to $5.73 billion in the United States.

In the Netherlands, where Ahold owns the dominant Albert Heijn chain, sales rose 12 percent to euro2.49 billion.

Ahold said it has paid down net debt to euro717 million from euro1.18 billion since October. The company launched a euro500 million share buyback plan and proposed a 28 percent increase in its dividend for 2010, to euro0.23 per share.

[to top of second column]

"Ahold's earnings came in ahead of expectations on a very strong performance in the US, again underlining the company's success in turning the business around," said SNS Securities analyst Richard Withagen in a note on the earnings.

"In addition, the dividend increase and share buyback are a positive surprise and show Ahold's confidence in the future." He repeated a Buy advice on shares.

Shares rose 3.8 percent to euro9.539 in early trading in Amsterdam.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor