Ahold, the Dutch retail giant, today (16 January) announced a 3.3% rise in full-year net sales after a "solid" fourth quarter.

For the period ending 28 December, net sales were EUR25.7bn (US$36.4bn). At constant exchange rates, net sales were up 6.9%.

Ahold said it had seen a "solid" sales performance in all of its major markets in the fourth quarter, with "strong" holiday sales in the US and the Netherlands.

Net sales for the company's Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover division in the US increased 2.4% to US$17.1bn.

Identical sales at Ahold's Stop & Shop stores increased by 2.1% excluding fuel and dipped 0.5% at Giant-Landover.

Comparable sales rose 2.8% at Stop & Shop but fell 0.2% at Giant-Landover.

At Ahold's Giant-Carlisle division in the US, net sales increased 10% to US$4.7bn.
Identical sales increased 4.7% excluding fuel, while comparable sales were up 7.1%.

Ahold enjoyed healthy annual sales from its domestic Albert Heijn stores. Net sales from the business increased 12.9% to EUR9bn, while net sales at Albert Heijn supermarkets climbed 13.2% to EUR8.2bn. Identical sales at Albert Heijn supermarkets rose 9.2%.

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, net sales from Ahold's Albert and Hypernova divisions ros 13.9% to EUR1.8bn, or 2.8% at constant exchange rates. Identical sales increased 3.2%.

Net sales from ICA, Ahold's Nordic joint venture, increased 6.3% to EUR9.5bn. At constant exchange rates, net sales increased 9.6%.

In the fourth quarter, net sales jumped 12.9% to reach EUR6.6bn and increased by 5.9% at constant exchange rates.