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    Ahold Posts Profit Gain

    Earnings jump 17 percent in third quarter.

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Buoyed by impressive growth in the United States, Dutch supermarket and convenience store giant Royal Ahold NV reported a 17-percent spike in third-quarter profits Tuesday.Ahold, owner of grocery chains BI-LO, Tops Markets and Stop & Shop, as well as c-store operations Wilson Farms Neighborhood Stores and Golden Gallon, earned $267.7 million in the three months ended Oct. 7. Sales rose nearly 13 percent to $13.64 billion. Ahold expects no impact from the global economic slowdown and said it is "comfortable with the development" of its business and long-term growth outlook, the Associated Press reported. In a separate announcement, Ahold named Jon Wilken, BI-LO's president and chief executive, as president of convenience stores in its Ahold USA division. Dean Cohagan, currently executive vice president for operations at Stop & Shop, will succeed Wilken at BI-LO. In the United States, Ahold operates five supermarket companies along the U.S. eastern seaboard, with combined annualized sales of approximately $22 billion, the Associated Press said.

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