Royal Ahold today posted second quarter sales of EUR10.48bn (US$13.46bn), an increase of 2.2% from EUR10.45bn reported a year earlier.

The retailer said that the flat sales were the result of competitive market conditions and the impact of high energy prices which have encouraged consumers to be more conservative in their purchases, particularly in the US.

Nonetheless, Ahold said that its US performance and margins would be boosted by improvements at Giant-Landover and store rationalisation at Tops.

While sales remained relatively flat in the US, Schuitema and central Europe, sales in Ahold's home market were more positive. Sales at Ahold's Albert Heijn format rose by 8.5% to EUR1.7bn and same-store sales increased by 6.8%.