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Ahold Q2 profit drops on increased U.S. competition

AMSTERDAM — Royal Ahold NV reported Thursday that net income in the second quarter declined to $287 million from $290 million a year earlier, dragged down by performance of its U.S.-based Stop & Shop grocery stores.

The company cited increased competition in the U.S. for its lackluster quarter. Ahold said it will seek to limit price increases and cut costs in the United States, particularly at its Giant-Carlisle chain, which competes with Wal-Mart Stores.

Second-quarter sales declined 3.5% to $9.9 billion.

CEO Dick Boer said, “We continued to perform well and grew market share in the United States and the Netherlands. We were able to mitigate gross margin pressure through rigorous cost control as customers continue to focus on value in an environment of increasing inflation and intense promotional activity, particularly in the United States."

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