AMSTERDAM — Ahold here said fourth-quarter profits surged as the multinational retailer saw sales gains and kept costs in check, although it issued a cautious outlook for 2012. “We expect 2012 to be another challenging year for the food retail industry,” said Dick Boer, chief executive officer, in a conference call with analysts discussing results. “The macro-economic environment means that consumers still continue to look for value, and competition will remain ...

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