AMSTERDAM â€” Ahold here yesterday said it had sales and market-share gains at all three of its U.S. banners in the third quarter, and retail operating margins improved to help the company beat analystsâ€™ profit expectations. Profits overall for the quarter were down compared with a year ago, reflecting higher taxes and lower income from joint ventures, but operating income was up about 10%, to about $328 million (U.S.), and retail operating income totaled $357 million, or 4.9% of sales, compared with 4.8% of sales in the year-ago period.
In the U.S., the company said operating income at its Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover division totaled $167 million, or 4.3% of sales, up $17 million over the year-ago results. Year-to-date, operating income was $494 million, or 3.8% of sales, down $45 million from the same period last year. As previously reported, sales in the division were up 4.4% in the quarter.
At Giant-Carlisle, operating income rose by $8 million in the third quarter, to $50 million, or 4.6% of sales, while sales grew 11.8%, to $1.1 billion. Year-to-date, operating income was $173 million, or 4.8% of sales, a gain of $8 million.
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