Ahold launches €1bn share buy-back

Supermarket group Ahold said on Thursday that the sale of catering supply unit US Foodservice and its Polish operations had boosted second quarter net profit to €2.2bn. Net profit was €219m in the year earlier period.

Ahold also announced it will launch a €1bn share buy-back and that it is terminating its US listing.
Excluding the sale of assets and other charges, Ahold booked operating profit of €291m, which was above analysts’ expectations. Turnover rose 2% to €6.6bn.
CFO and acting CEO John Rishton said the two-year revamp of the company’s US operation, which started in September, is on track, with lower prices and a bigger variety of own-label products. Ahold earns some 60% of its income in the US.
In the Netherlands, net sales at Ahold’s flagship Albert Heijn supermarket group were up 10.3% at €1.8bn, partly due to the takeover of a number of Konmar stores last year. Pro-rata sales were up 6.2%.

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