AHOLD U.S. GAINS; WILL ACQUISITIONS SLOW IT?

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- As expected, the Stop & Shop Cos. acquisition hoisted third-quarter and year-to-date results at Ahold here, but industry observers wonder how shifts in U.S. operations will affect the Dutch retailer's near-term performance.Propelled by the absorption of the Quincy, Mass.-based chain, Ahold's U.S. results soared -- a 57% sales gain and a 103% jump in operating results for the

ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- As expected, the Stop & Shop Cos. acquisition hoisted third-quarter and year-to-date results at Ahold here, but industry observers wonder how shifts in U.S. operations will affect the Dutch retailer's near-term performance.

Propelled by the absorption of the Quincy, Mass.-based chain, Ahold's U.S. results soared -- a 57% sales gain and a 103% jump in operating results for the 12-week third quarter ended Oct. 6. Total U.S. quarterly sales were $3.11 billion

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