NETHERLANDS: Ahold sales rise in US, Netherlands
- FY sales up 8.5%
- Q4 sales gain 7.5%
- Gains in US, Netherlands
Ahold sales rise
Dutch retailer Ahold today (17 January) booked an increase in fourth-quarter and full-year sales, which were boosted by gains at its domestic and US units.
The company said sales rose 8.5% in fiscal 2012. Stripping out currency exchange, sales were up 3.5%.
During the fourth-quarter sales rose 7.5% to EUR7.8bn (US$10.42bn), the company revealed.
In the US, where the company has worked to improve the performance of its formats, such as Stop & Shop, sales rose 4.3%. Ahold attributed the gain to the "exceptional efforts" of its staff during Hurricane Sandy. "We continued to gain market share in all our divisions," Ahold said.
Meanwhile, at home Ahold saw sales increase 7.7%, driven by the contribution of 15 acquired C100/Jumbo stores and share gains at Albert Heijn.
The group added it was "pleased" by the performance of its fledgling business in Belgium, where it operates 11 Albert Heijn outlets.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, January 17, 2013 - Ahold today announced consolidated net sales of €7.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 7.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. At constant exchange rates net sales were up 5.1%. For the full year 2012, consolidated net sales were €32.8 billion, an increase of 8.5% compared to 2011. At constant exchange rates net sales were up 3.5%.
In the United States sales were up 4.3%. Our strong performance was partly driven by the exceptional efforts of our teams during Hurricane Sandy, which enabled our stores to remain open and to serve our customers during these difficult times. The positive sales impact of Sandy was partly offset by a negative calendar impact due to the timing of year end. We continued to gain market share in all our divisions. The 15 Genuardi's stores we acquired in 2012 performed in line with expectations. Furthermore we opened another four pick-up points, bringing the total to eight in the United States.
The sales growth of 7.7% in the Netherlands was mainly driven by progress on our growth initiatives, including the addition of 15 former C1000/Jumbo stores that were converted during the second half of the year. Identical sales growth was impacted this quarter by the timing of year end and a disappointing performance from Etos in a very competitive health and beauty segment. Albert Heijn was able to further increase its market share. We opened our first three pick-up points for online grocery shopping in the Netherlands, and their initial performance is exceeding our expectations. We continue to be pleased with the performance of our Belgian stores. We opened three Albert Heijn supermarkets during the quarter, bringing our total number of Belgian stores to eleven. Bol.com showed a strong sales performance and continued to strengthen its position in the Netherlands.
In an ongoing tough environment in Other Europe, the VAT increase earlier this year continued to impact net sales. We continued to drive sales ahead of the competition and gained market share.
Original source: Ahold
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