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Sandy Boosts Ahold Results

Amsterdam-based supermarket operator Ahold has announced consolidated net sales of €7.8 billion, or about $10.4 billion, for the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 7.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, or up 5.1% at constant exchange rates. The company’s banners in the United States, including Stop & Shop, Giant Landover, Giant Carlisle and Martin’s, as well as the Peapod Internet grocery delivery service, posted net sales of $6.1 billion in the fourth quarter, an increase of 4.3% versus the 2011 period.

Identical store sales increased 2.4%, or 1.4% excluding gasoline revenues.

For the full year, net sales were $25.8 billion, up 3.1% over 2011.
 Identical store sales increased 1.4%, or 0.5% excluding gasoline revenues.

The company said its U.S. performance was partly driven by Hurricane Sandy. Company stores remained open to serve customers during the storm period, to the credit of its employees, Ahold stated. The boost from Sandy-related sales, the company noted, was partly offset by a negative calendar impact due to the timing of the year’s end. Ahold U.S. gained market share in all divisions, the company added. The 15 Genuardi’s stores it acquired in 2012 performed in line with expectations, Ahold said.

Late last year, Ahold’s Giant Carlisle division announced that it had entered into an agreement with Genuardi’s Family Markets, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., to acquire 16 Genuardi’s stores in Greater Philadelphia for $106 million.