Ahold saw its earnings soar in the first half of the year as the Dutch retailer benefited from the disposal of its stake in ICA earlier this year.

Earnings in the six months to the end of June totalled EUR2.16bn (US$2.87bn) from earnings of EUR534m a year earlier. This year’s figure included EUR1.75bn related to the disposal of its ICA business.

Operating income, however, was down 9.1% to EUR670m. This was due to a EUR63m pre-tax charge related to a multi-employer pension plan settlement in the US, as well as EUR52m of impairment charges.

Sales were up 2.7% to EUR17.89bn. Identical-store sales in the US and the Netherlands were both up, 1.2% and 1.7%, respectively.

“Our business continued to perform well, both in Europe and the US. We were able to grow sales … with ongoing high levels of promotional activity,” said CEO Dick Boer.

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