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Online sales push up profit at Dutch-based retailer Ahold

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch operator of U.S. supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Giant, says its first quarter net profit rose 13 per cent to 241 million euros ($269 million), helped by strong growth in online sales in the United States and the Netherlands.

Sales for the global group rose 4.3 per cent to 11.8 billion euros ($13 billion) compared with the first three months of 2015.

Ahold says that in the U.S., online grocery store Peapod recorded “double-digit” sales growth as it continued to expand in New York City. Meanwhile, sales at Dutch online retailers bol.com and ah.nl soared 30 per cent.

CEO Dick Boer said Wednesday that Ahold expects to complete its planned merger with Belgian retailer Delhaize midway through the year.