AMSTERDAM -- Ahold here yesterday said it took a $118 million charge in the fourth quarter for the sale or closure of its 46 Tops stores in northeastern Ohio. As a result, the company‘s Giant-Carlisle-Tops division posted an operating loss of $63 million in the period. For the year, the division had operating profit of $62 million, down $28 million from a year ago. The Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division also saw declines in operating margins, which were impacted by the chains‘ new EDLP initiative, the company said. Fourth-quarter operating profit in the division was $162 million, down $18 million from year-ago levels. For the full year, operating profits totaled $839 million, down $15 million from a year ago. Ahold reported sales results on Feb. 1. Overall, Ahold posted fourth-quarter net income of $309.8 million, down 3% from year-ago levels but up 3% at constant exchange rates. The company reported net income of $1.15 billion for the year, vs. $181.4 million in 2005, using average exchange rates. Separately, Ahold said Giant-Landover plans to open its largest prototype yet next Friday in Fredericksburg, Va. The new, 75,000-square-foot store will be the largest in the chain and the seventh to open featuring the newest format, which emphasizes prepared foods and perishables.
Margins Down at Ahold USA Chains
AMSTERDAM -- Ahold here yesterday said it took a $118 million charge in the fourth quarter for the sale or closure of its 46 Tops stores in northeastern Ohio.