Dutch retailer Laurus today (4 July) reported that the decline in comparable sales for the first half of the year had narrowed in comparison with the decline reported in H1 last year. The company said that its Super de Boer format, which it decided to focus on with the planned disposal of its Edah and Konmar supermarket chains, has shown noteworthy improvement.

Total net sales across the three chains - Edah, Konmar and Super de Boer - fell from EUR1.434bn (US$1.835bn) reported for the comparable period of last year to EUR1.385bn for the first half of this year. Like-for-like sales declined by 1.1% - primarily due to a poor performance at Edah, the company said. However, this decline compares favourably to a decline in like-for-like sales of 8.8% in H1 2005.

Overall, like-for-like sales at the independently operated Super de Boer increased by 1.8% year-on-year, with the stores that have been modernised under Laurus's rejuvenation plan reporting stronger improvement of 2.9%. Sales at Super de Boer's own stores were down 0.8%, giving an overall growth for Super de Boer of 0.6%.The improvement at Super de Boer was largely a result of increasing volumes, the company said.

Although sales showed sustained growth during the half, they did not meet average market growth - meaning that Laurus is still falling behind its rivals in the highly competitive Dutch market.