Royal Ahold NV cashes sales of $9.58 billion

Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch operator of the Giant and Stop & Shop supermarket chains in the U.S., said Thursday its sales rose 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

Net sales were euro6.80 billion ($9.58 billion), up from euro6.58 billion in the same period a year earlier.

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The company issued the trading update ahead of its earnings report due March 4.

Ahold said sales volumes were higher in both Europe and the U.S., but prices fell. It cited price deflation, customers increasingly choosing cheaper alternatives, and heavy sales promotions.

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