Cost cuts help Ahold to beat expectations

DUTCH international retailer Ahold said yesterday that its second quarter earnings have beaten estimates, as sales rose three per cent at constant exchange rates to €7.8bn (£6.7bn).

Ahold said a series of cost-cutting processes and gains in market shares have helped it post operating profits of €338m, five per cent ahead of its original profit forecast of €320m.

Net sales similarly increased with a 4.1 per cent rise over the financial year, and operating profit adjusted for one-off items increased by four per cent in the second quarter to €338m.

“In the current economic environment we remain cautious in our outlook for the balance of the year, as we expect customers to be focused on value and volumes to remain under pressure,” said chief executive Dick Boer.