Ahold shows slight growth despite economic pressures

Supermarket group Ahold, owner of Dutch market leader Albert Heijn, booked a slight rise in operating profit in the second quarter of 2013, realising growth in both Europe and the US.

Turnover, based on constant exchange rates, was up 3% on a year ago at €7.8bn. Including currency effects, turnover was up 1%.

Underlying operating profit rose 5.4% to €338m but net profit was down 17.3% at €206m. This is mainly due to the sale of Sweden’s ICA group earlier this year, the company said.

Chief executive Dick Boer said the company remained cautious about its outlook for the rest of the year, given the current economic environment. ‘We expect customers to be focused on value and volumes to remain under pressure,’ Boer said in a statement.

In the Netherlands, Ahold opened more Albert Heijn stores and benefited from an increase in online sales, Boer said.

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