ZAANDAM, The Netherlands -- Ahold here said last week the addition of U.S. Foodservice and two convenience store chains helped boost sales and earnings for the second quarter and first half ended July 16.
quarter and 39.8% to $423.4 million for the half.
In the U.S., which accounts for nearly two-thirds of Ahold's worldwide volume, sales rose 43.4% to $6.7 billion for the quarter and 21.7% to $3.1 billion for the half. The company said operating income was up 47.8% to $353 million for the quarter and 31.9% to $666.7 million for the half.
Ahold acquired U.S. Foodservice, Columbia, Md., in March and two convenience store chains in April: Golden Gallon, a 134-unit operator based in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Sugar Creek Convenience Stores and Fuel, an 87-unit operator based in Rochester, N.Y. The company said most of the volume surge came from the food service operation.
Ahold said all five of its U.S. supermarket chains -- Bi-Lo, Giant Food (Landover, Md.), Giant Food Stores (Carlisle, Pa.), Stop & Shop and Tops -- contributed to the company's sales growth and achieved higher operating results.
The company also said the conversion of Edwards Supermarkets in the New York City area to the Stop & Shop banner is expected to be completed by January.
In other developments last week:
Ahold said it acquired two warehouses, one in Chicago and the other in Washington, from Streamline. com, as well as a substantial portion of the Internet grocer's customer base. Cees Van der Hoeven, Ahold president and chief executive officer, said the addition of the Streamline.com warehouses will strengthen the company's home shopping activities with Peapod. (For additional details, see story page one.)
The company said it plans to acquire all outstanding shares of Superdiplo, a food retailer based in Cadiz, Spain, that operates more than 300 stores in Madrid, southern Spain, Andalusia and the Canary Islands. Ahold said Superdiplo's projected sales for 2000 are approximately $1.3 billion. Ahold said it has reached agreement with holders of 69% of Superdiplo's shareholders, with plans to conduct a tender offer for the remaining shares.
Ahold said it expects net earnings will be sharply higher this year, with earnings per share expected to rise 17-20%.
Van der Hoeven said the company is pleased with its gasoline operations in the U.S. that came with its acquisition of the two convenience store chains. "We've found the gas business to be very profitable when it's combined with food operations, and we're looking for opportunities to step it up quite considerably in the U.S. among our supermarket operations and possibly elsewhere."
Ahold said it plans to issue cumulative preferred financing shares in October to strengthen stockholders' equity and finance investments in the Netherlands.