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Ahold Q4 sales up 4.5 percent to $9.4 billion

January 19, 2012
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AMSTERDAM—Royal Ahold NV, the owner of U.S. and Dutch grocery chains, says sales rose 4.5 percent to euro7.3 billion ($9.4 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same period a year earlier.

The company said Thursday price cuts were the most important factor "with customers remaining cautious in their spending," though a weaker dollar accounted for 0.2 percent of the total sales rise.

Ahold is due to report full year earnings March 1 and didn't indicate whether profit margins worsened.

Ahold owns the Stop & Shop and Giant chains in the U.S., and the Netherlands' largest chain, Albert Heijn.

Ahold said it won market share in the U.S., where sales rose 5 percent to $5.9 billion. In the Netherlands, sales rose 4.3 percent to euro2.5 billion.

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