Dutch grocery giant Ahold has reported a rise in first-quarter sales of almost 6%.

Sales for the past three months hit €9.3bn (£8.3bn) with profits up 8.6% over the period to €444m.

“We delivered solid results and increased volumes in all our markets despite challenging market conditions, with customers continuing to focus on value,” said chief executive Dick Boer.

“In the United States we had particularly strong sales and margins, partially due to the timing of Easter. In the Netherlands margins were impacted by increasing inflation, which was not fully passed on to customers.”

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