Royal Ahold NV reports sharp increase third quarter net income

Royal Ahold NV reports sharp increase third quarter net income Amsterdam  - Dutch Royal Ahold NV saw its third quarter net income increase by 20.8 per cent compared with the same quarter last year, the international food retailer said in its quarterly report released on Wednesday.

Amsterdam-based supermarket chain Ahold said its net income amounted to 238 million euros (354 million dollars) in the third quarter, more than the 188 million euros expected by analysts.

Operating income increased by 1.5 per cent from 261 million euros in the same period last year to 265 million euros in the third quarter of this year. However, it remained below the 271 million euros analysts had expected.

Ahold, which said its net sales increased 4.3 per cent to 6 billion euros in the third quarter, also announced a cost-reduction programme to save 350 million euros by 2012.

Commenting on the quarterly results, CEO John Rishton said the cost reductions would "focus on all aspects of our business, including store expenses, supply chain, and overhead across the group.

"Separately, we will deliver additional sourcing cost savings over the same period."

Rishton also said Ahold had delivered "solid results in a challenging environment" and said volumes had grown "in all markets."

Among others, Royal Ahold BV owns Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn, Albert and Hypernova in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and Stop&Shop and Giant-Landover in the US. The food retailer has some 3,400 stores worldwide. (dpa)