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Ahold sales up slightly in Q3, boosted by Market Basket

This summer's disruption at Market Basket helped Ahold post a gain of 1.2% in non-fuel ID sales in the third quarter, officials said Thursday.

Excluding the 49 Stop & Shop stores affected by the competitor walkout, ID sales declined by 0.2% in the quarter. Overall U.S. sales totaled $5.6 billion (U.S.), an increase of 0.4% from the same period a year ago, while investments in price as part of the ongoing U.S. strategic reset contributed to slight declines in margin and underlying profits.

Officials however said sequential improvement from the second quarter indicated its initiatives were taking hold, with profits nearing the cost of investment. Phase 1 "Project Thunder" investments in price and fresh department selections are now in more than 500 of the company's 767 U.S. stores, including all Giant-Landover locations, where market share remains under pressure. And a second round of initiatives -- price investment in "super KVIs" such as milk, bananas and sugar -- are now rolling out in some New England stores, CEO Dick Boer said.

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