- Royal Ahold, the Dutch-owned global food retailer that does roughly 60 percent of its business in the US, reported that overall sales for the third quarter were up 5.8 percent to the equivalent of $16 billion (US), with “organic sales growth” up 1.5 percent. In its US retail operations, total sales were up 11.5 percent to about $6 billion (US).
However, investors reportedly are concerned that Ahold’s foodservice operations in the US, which were up 43.3 percent for the quarter, actually were down more than six percent for the quarter when the effects of acquisitions are subtracted.
- Fresh Brands Inc. said it earned $1.44 million, compared with $1.49 million in the same period a year before. Net sales were $141.9 million, against last year's $144.0 million. Sales at stores open at least one year fell 1 percent from the year-ago quarter.
- 7-Eleven Inc. reported a 29 percent decline in third-quarter net income, down to $29.5 million from $41.4 million during the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.8 percent to $2.79 billion from $2.64 billion. Gasoline gross profit fell by $6.3 million to $67.6 million, because of higher wholesale fuel costs. Same-store merchandise sales in the US increased 3.2 percent for the quarter.
- Amazon.com continues to confound the skeptics, reporting a lower than expected third quarter net loss of $35 million, compared to a loss of $170 million for the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 33 percent to $851.3 million from $639.3 million a year earlier. The better than anticipated performance was driven by higher sales, which was the result of aggressive price cuts and free shipping promotions; expectations generally are that with a strong fourth quarter, Amazon will end the year with a profit.