ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here said last week it will maintain its focus on acquisitions in Europe and the Eastern United States.
romodes, Mondeville, that would create the second-largest retailing firm in the world, after Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark.
Ahold also said last week its earnings rose 40.6% to $183.3 million in the 12-week quarter ended July 18. Consolidated sales in the same period increased 34.5% to $8.4 billion.
Sales at the company's U.S. operations increased 34.6% to $4.7 billion, spurred, the company said, by the consolidation of Giant Food, Landover, Md., which Ahold acquired last year, and substantial sales growth at Stop & Shop, Quincy, Mass.
Cees van der Hoeven, Ahold president and chief executive officer, said all of Ahold's U.S. companies were showing improvements.
"We are more than pleased with the progress that is being made at Giant Landover, where sales and results clearly exceed our expectations," he also said.
Turning to the issue of acquisitions, van der Hoeven noted the company's still pending takeover of Pathmark Stores, Carteret, N.J., which is currently being studied by U.S. government regulators.
He also said Ahold had been a bidder in the limited auction for Hannaford Bros., Scarborough, Maine, which was acquired last month for $3.6 billion by Delhaize, the Belgium-based parent company of Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C. "In the meantime, we continue to see significant growth potential on the U.S. East Coast, autonomously as well as through acquisitions," said van der Hoeven.
"In Europe, the predicted consolidation has started," he continued. "We are positioning our company to be ready to take an important next step as and when the right opportunity arises."