Dutch food retailer Laurus has reported a 10.5% fall in first-quarter sales at its Dutch operations.

Laurus said its sales, which declined to €1.275bn (US$1.51bn) from €1.425bn a year earlier, had been hit by a supermarket price war and the sale of some of its stores, reported Reuters. The company also said shoppers had been opting for its cheaper range of products and using savings cards at some stores.

“Laurus had a poor first quarter due to difficult market circumstances,” Laurus CEO Harry Bruijniks was quoted by Reuters as saying. 

French retailer Casino has a 38.7% stake in Laurus, with an option to take control with a 51% stake until the end of 2008.

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