Ahold on Thursday said it U.S. sales, operating income and margins decreased during the fiscal second quarter, reflecting a decision to absorb some of its commodity price increases while making price investments as part of its ongoing Reshaping Retail program.
A calendar shift moving Easter sales to the first quarter this year also negatively impacted sales, which declined by 1.7% at constant exchange rates to $5.8 billion (U.S.). Identical-store sales excluding gasoline declined by 1.8% and overall market share was down, particularly in New England and at Giant-Landover, the company said.
Underlying operating margin of 3.7% was 0.5% lower than the same period last year, reflecting investment in stores and the effect of absorbing some price increases in meat and dairy rather than passing them along to customers.
Ahold's worldwide sales of $9.8 billion (U.S.) were down by 1.1%.
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