Ahold Cites Economic Pressures

Ahold here last week said deflation, consumers trading down and increased promotional activity pressured fourth-quarter profitability and sales, although the company was able to drive gains at some divisions with a balance of price and margin. Operating income at the company's Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division rose 15%, to $238 million, and full-year operating income

AMSTERDAM — Ahold here last week said deflation, consumers trading down and increased promotional activity pressured fourth-quarter profitability and sales, although the company was able to drive gains at some divisions with a balance of price and margin.

Operating income at the company's Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division rose 15%, to $238 million, and full-year operating income at the division rose 24%, to $869 million. As previously reported, sales f

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