Ahold beats forecasts, US sales up

Supermarket group Ahold beat analysts’ expectations with its second quarter earnings, led by strong performance at the Albert Heijn chain and US retail activities. The group’s second-quarter operating profit rose to €376 mln, up from €242 mln last year.

‘The second quarter showed an encouraging improvement in the profitability of the business despite competitive trading conditions and higher energy costs,’ said CEO Anders Moberg. Moberg has repeatedly declined to comment on calls by hedge funds to divest the US activities. He said Ahold’s review of underperforming assets was ‘well underway’ and will be completed in the autumn, as previously announced
Van Lanschot Bankiers – which focuses on wealthy individuals and medium-sized companies – is to buy rival bank Kempen & Co. for €300 mln in shares and cash. The acquisition is the largest ever for Van Lanschot.
Green bank Triodos expects to get €250 mln from investors over the next three years for its new cultural investment fund. The fund will put money into traditional cultural institutions such as the Carré theatre as well as new artists.

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