The Netherlands
Ahold's first-quarter pre-tax profit to 31 March rose from 1156m to 1316m on sales up 8.6% to 114.1bn. Stronger performances at its Netherlands-based Albert Heijn stores and central European operations offset lower sales at its Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover and Giant-Carlisle/Tops stores in the US. The supermarket group said that pre-tax profit had increased because of improved operating income, reduced financing costs and improved net income from joint ventures. Anders Moberg, president and CEO, said that a review of underperforming assets and a strategic review to increase like-for-like sales growth had started and would be completed in the autumn.

United States
Whole Foods Market, which is set to open its first UK store in London next year, has stopped selling live lobsters. The retailer said that it was not satisfied that the process of selling live lobsters was in line with its commitment to the humane treatment of animals. Margaret Wittenberg, vice president of quality standards, said: "We believe it is too difficult to maintain consistent conditions throughout the entire supply chain to ensure the health and wellbeing of lobsters outside their natural environment ." The company added that for the time being it would sell frozen raw and cooked lobster products.

Nestlé has acquired the dieting products company Jenny Craig from private equity groups ACI Capital and MidOcean Partners for $600m. Jenny Craig offers a range of branded nutritional products and services in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the chairman and chief executive officer of Nestlé, said: "With this strategic acquisition, the group is taking another important step in its transformation process into a nutrition, health and wellness company."

United States
Kroger's first-quarter profit to 20 May rose 4% to $306.4m on sales up 8.2% to $19.4bn. Like-for-like sales rose 5.6% excluding fuel. The group said that it expected like-for-like sales growth to exceed 4% for the balance of the year, up from previous estimates of 3.5%. David Dillon, chairman and chief executive, said: "We continue to focus on delivering improved service, selection and value to our customers and this has translated into another quarter of impressive identical sales growth."

United States
The Coca-Cola Company claimed that it had reduced energy and water use and increased recycling for a fourth year running. The soft drinks giant said that last year it cut energy use by 5%, water use by 4%, solid waste by 3% and increased recycling by 3%. Jeff Seabright, vice president for environment and water resources, said: "As a beverage company we focus our environmental efforts on the areas where we have the greatest impact and therefore can do the most good. We are proud of the progress we've made, but we know that we can continue to do better."