Dutch retailing giant Ahold said Thursday that its second quarter net profits rose nearly 33 percent on robust sales in the Netherlands, and favourable exchange rate effects from the strong dollar.
Ahold said net profits for the three months ending in June rose to 195 million euros ($217 million) compared the same period last year, representing an increase of 32.7 percent.
The group -- which announced its merger with Belgian rival Delhaize in June -- said second quarter sales advanced to 8.7 billion euros, an increase of 17.1 percent on current exchange rates, and 3.1 percent in constant currency values.
The company said increased market share in the US and the Netherlands -- where online sales rose 30 percent -- fuelled growing activity of its supermarket chains that include Albert Heijn, Stop & Shop and internet distributor bol.com.
"We had a strong quarter and are pleased with the financial performance across our business. We grew sales, operating income and net income and delivered strong free cash flow," Ahold CEO Dick Boer said in a statement.
Boer added future activity looked positive as Ahold and Delhaize proceed with the merger that will create the fourth-largest food retailer in Europe with sales of over 54 billion euros, 6,500 shops and 375,000 employees.
"We remain confident in our outlook for the business and are on track to deliver a full-year performance in line with expectations. We are excited about the agreement with Delhaize, which brings together two highly complementary businesses to create a stronger, international food retailer," he said.