AMSTERDAM — Led by a strong performance by its U.S. banners, Ahold posted a 6.2% increase in net income during the first quarter the company here said Tuesday.
In the U.S., identical sales improved 3.2% excluding fuel, and total sales increased 7.4% to $7.6 billion in the quarter. The gains came amid “challenging market conditions,” including inflation, a stagnant job market and aggressive competition, Dick Boer, Ahold’s chief executive officer, said in a conference call.
Income as a percentage of sales in the U.S. increased from the 2010 first quarter to 4.6%, from 4.2%, as Ahold was able to control its own costs during the quarter, Boer said.
Companywide, inflation outpaced sales growth in the Netherlands, bringing margins down in Europe. Overall net income of $425 million improved 6.2%, on net sales of $13.5 billion (U.S.), up 5.9%.