Grocery chain operator Ahold on Thursday reported solid growth in both sales and profit in the second quarter, amid improving economies in the U.S. and Netherlands and largely in line with analysts' expectations.
Net profit rose 33 percent from the same quarter a year earlier to 195 million euros, while sales grew 17 percent to 8.69 billion euros.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a net profit of 199 million euros, and sales of 8.67 billion euros.
Ahold, which operates the Stop & Shop and Giant stores in the United States, announced in June it intends to merge with Belgian peer Delhaize.
Ahold chief executive Dick Boer said in a videotaped statement that the merger is on track for mid-2016 and meanwhile the company is focused on operational improvements.
Ahold's proposed 25-billion-euro ($28 billion) merger with Delhaize would create one of the biggest food retailers in the United States and a major player in Europe.