Third-quarter pre-tax profit at Dutch retailer Ahold increased E55m to E237m (£159m), on sales up 0.7% at E10.3bn.

Net sales increased at its Stop & Shop, Giant Landover, Giant Carlisle and Tops businesses, but were down in its Albert Heijn and central Europe businesses.

“The third quarter was more challenging than the second quarter for US retail, reflecting increased competitor activity and weaker economic conditions,'' added Anders Moberg, president and CEO of Ahold.