Ahold sales drop in important Christmas quarter
Supermarket group Ahold booked turnover of €7.5bn in the fourth quarter of 2013, down 1.1% excluding the effect of the high euro exchange rate against the dollar.
For the full year 2013, consolidated net sales reached €32.6bn, an increase of 2% at constant exchange rates. At current exchange rates net sales were down 0.2%, the company said in a trading update.
In the Netherlands, market conditions remained ‘challenging’, Ahold said and sales growth of 0.7% was mainly driven by the strong performance of its online businesses, both at albert.nl and bol.com.
Meanwhile, website nu.nl reports that franchisees who run Ahold’s Albert Heijn supermarkets have decided not to pay all their bills to the parent company because of a dispute over extra charges.
The franchise-holders say they are required to settle bills with Albert Heijn within 10 days of delivery but that the supermarket chain does not pay its suppliers for between 60 and 120 days.
Some 250 out of around 850 Albert Heijn stores are currently run on a franchise basis.
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