ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here reported increased sales and operating earnings for its U.S. holdings for the third quarter and 40 weeks ended Oct. 9.
rose 14.3% for the quarter to $1.7 billion and 10.8% for the year to date to $5.6 billion. Excluding Red Food Stores, Chattanooga, Tenn., which Ahold acquired earlier this year, U.S. sales rose 5.8%.
The company said Giant Food Stores, Carlisle, Pa., realized "a considerable [sales] increase, and the successful implementation of marketing and store-format adjustments at Finast, Maple Heights, Ohio, and Edwards Super Food Stores, Windsor Locks, Conn., also resulted in higher sales."
Bi-Lo, Mauldin, S.C., and Tops Markets, Buffalo, N.Y., also achieved sales increases, the company noted.
Ahold's total net income rose 24.7% for the quarter to $51.9 million, which the company attributed to higher operating results, lower interest expense and a lower tax burden. For the 40 weeks net income rose 20.4% to $168.8 million.
Operating earnings in the United States rose 26.4% to $40.3 million for the quarter and 14.3% to $135.9 million for the year to date.
The company said changes in marketing and store formats, combined with cost reductions, yielded "a significant improvement" in operating results at Finast and Edwards.
Bi-Lo, Giant Food Stores and Tops also realized higher operating results, the company said, while the contribution made by Red Foods "was still limited." Ahold said that its sales in the Netherlands rose 6% to $3.8 billion, with both Albert Heijn and Schuitema, the company's wholesale operation, achieving higher sales and a stronger market share. Sales in Portugal and the Czech Republic rose 6.3% to $225.7 million. Operating earnings in the Netherlands rose 8.9% to $57.1 million.