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Focus on New York market boosts Ahold USA Q1 sales


Ahold USA first quarter sales were up 4% to $8.2 billion. Excluding gas, sales increased 4.1% at constant exchange rates. The addition of 25 A&P stores in the New York Metro market in fourth quarter 2015 was the main contributor to the overall sales growth and resulted in an overall market share improvement in both dollars and volume, Ahold reported.

“We continue to deliver on our strategic objectives, with a good operational and financial performance in the first quarter," stated Dick Boer, Ahold CEO. "Our focus remains on serving our customers and delivering on our Simplicity program, in order to invest in our great local brands to ensure that we provide even more value and innovation," he said. "In the United States, we had a solid performance and continued to invest in our customer proposition, including the rollout of our new bakery departments."

Identical sales growth excluding gas of 0.8% was supported by further investments in the customer, focusing on the produce and dairy departments in addition to bakery. Ahold also enhanced its Nature’s Promise brand by expanding its natural and organic offerings in the quarter.

Ahold USA continued to invest in pricing, lowering prices on more than 1,000 items toward the end of the quarter.

Peapod reported double-digit sales growth and continued to expand in the New York City market area with an explosive growth rate of 26%.

Ahold USA's underlying operating margin was 4%, up 30 basis points from the same quarter last year. Further strengthening of our Simplicity program, strong cost control, lower support costs and favorable utility costs contributed to the improvement versus last year.

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