NEW YORK — Supermarket giant Royal Ahold, which operates under five banners in the United States, reported that U.S. customers' continued focus on value drove its sales.
Fourth-quarter same-store sales for the company's U.S. sector, excluding gasoline, rose 0.9%. Additionally, total-year net sales for Ahold USA jumped 3.1% to $23.5 billion. Net sales decreased 2% before adjustment for the impact of an additional week in 2009, the company said. In 2010, the conglomerate acquired Ukrop's, a Virginia supermarket chain, for $140 million through its Ahold's Giant-Carlisle division. The acquisition lead Ahold to realize $5.6 billion in net sales for the fourth quarter, a 6% increase when compared with the adjusted fourth-quarter 2009 sales.
For the 52-week period, ended Jan. 2, net sales totaled $23.5 billion, a 5.1% increase, compared with the adjusted full-year sales in the year-ago period. Sales from Ukrop’s stores totaled $458 million.
Commenting on its financial earnings, Royal Ahold said, "We delivered strong sales performance in all of our markets. The environment remained challenging, and customers continued to focus on value, driving intense promotional activity, particularly in the United States."
Royal Ahold operates under Stop & Shop, Giant Food, Giant Carlisle, Martin's and Peapod banners.