AMSTERDAM — Ahold here said its profits and sales were down in the second quarter, in part because of the timing of the Easter holiday this year and because of unfavorable exchange rates. The company also said it is exploring expansion into Germany with its Dutch convenience store banner.
In the U.S., operating income was down 22.6% vs. year-ago levels, to $209 million, which included several one-time charges, mostly related to the transfer of warehouse operations. As previously reported, Ahold USA sales were up 5.3% for the quarter, to $5.8 billion, and identical-store sales were up 1.2%, excluding gas.
For the first half, U.S. operating income — including results from Stop & Shop, Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle — was down about 1.1%, to $559 million, after a net charge of about $43 million for restructuring and other one-time events. Sales were $13.4 billion, up 6.5%. Identical sales were up 2.3%, excluding gasoline.
In a conference call with analysts, Dick Boer, Ahold's chief executive officer, said the company was planning to debut its Albert Heijn to Go c-store format in western Germany, near the Netherlands border, in 2012.
Overall, Ahold said net income in the second quarter fell 1.5%, to about $287 million, on a 3.5% decline in sales, to $9.9 billion (at current exchange rates). Through the first half, net income was up 2.9%, to $707 million, on a 1.7% gain in sales, to $23.3 billion.
At constant exchange rates, sales increased by 4.7% in the second quarter and 5.4% in the first half.