Highlights – second quarter 2012
Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Ahold today published its interim report for the second quarter and half year 2012.
CEO Dick Boer said: “By investing in value for our customers, we were able to grow sales by 3.9% at constant exchange rates and we gained market share in all our major markets in a challenging economic environment. Despite a weak performance at Albert Heijn, underlying operating margin for the Group was in line with last year.
“We saw ongoing high levels of promotional activity in both the United States and the Netherlands with retail price inflation coming down, particularly in the United States. Our businesses in the United States achieved strong margins through stringent cost control. Margins in the Netherlands were negatively impacted by increased price investments and an unsuccessful promotional campaign. Our business in the Netherlands now includes bol.com, following the successful completion of the acquisition on May 9.
“We expect market conditions to remain difficult and are cautious about the potential impact of rising food commodity costs, particularly in the United States for the balance of the year. We are confident that we are well on track to deliver on our strategy and we will continue to invest in growth. We are pleased with the conversion of 15 Genuardi’s stores to Giant Food Stores in the United States. We also completed the transaction with Jumbo concerning 82 stores in the Netherlands and we will start to convert the first 14 to Albert Heijn.”
This interim report includes forward-looking statements, which do not refer to historical facts but refer to expectations based on management's current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those included in such statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements as to Ahold’s investments in profitable growth; expectations on market conditions and competitor and consumer behavior; the progress and deliverance of Ahold’s strategies and cost savings program; the impact of rising food commodity costs; Ahold’s response to market opportunities; the synergy of business combinations; the performance of Ahold’s stores; the expansion of Ahold’s online presence, product offering and geographical reach; Ahold’s focus on cost reductions and process simplification and improving its competitive position; the causes of margin performance; completion of the transaction with Jumbo; and the conversion and reopening of the C1000/Jumbo stores to the Albert Heijn banner and the timeframe thereof. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Many of these risks and uncertainties relate to factors that are beyond Ahold’s ability to control or estimate precisely, such as the effect of general economic or political conditions, fluctuations in exchange rates or interest rates, increases or changes in competition, Ahold’s ability to implement and complete successfully its plans and strategies, the benefits from and resources generated by Ahold’s plans and strategies being less than or different from those anticipated, changes in Ahold’s liquidity needs, the actions of competitors and third parties and other factors discussed in Ahold’s public filings and other disclosures. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this interim report. Ahold does not assume any obligation to update any public information or forward-looking statements in this interim report to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as may be required by applicable laws. Outside the Netherlands, Koninklijke Ahold N.V., being its registered name, presents itself under the name of “Royal Ahold” or simply “Ahold.”