AMSTERDAM — The continuing recovery at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover highlighted a strong first quarter performance at Ahold, although a charge for lease guarantees at former chains Bi-Lo and Bruno’s sank net earnings, the retailer here said Thursday.
Net income in the first quarter, which ended April 19, was down 25% to about $271.6 million, mainly as the result of a one-time charge of $91 million to cover lease obligations at Bi-Lo and Bruno’s, the former Ahold chains now operating in separate Chapter 11 cases. Operating income was up 17.9% overall, led by a 19.8% increase at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover. Those chains posted combined sales of $5.3 billion — a 3.6% increase — during the quarter as consumers continued to respond positively to a program of lower everyday prices and renovated stores. Excluding fuel, identical store sales improved by 4.8% at Stop & Shop and by 3.6% at Giant-Landover, the company said.
Giant-Carlisle posted sales of $1.5 billion, an increase of 3.4%, and non-fuel identical store sales of 4.3%. Operating income at that chain was down slightly as a competitive environment in Pennsylvania drove promotions.
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