Ahold is integrating operations in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia to create a new organisation, Ahold Central Europe (ACE).

Based in Prague, it will merge functions such as sourcing, human resources, marketing and administration to leverage its scale and shared knowledge of the region.

Ahold also revealed in an update for its third quarter that group organic growth has fallen 5% since last year. The Dutch-based group said organic growth rose just 1.5% compared to 6.5% in 2001.

In the US, which accounts for 60% of turnover, third quarter retail sales grew 3.4%, down from 7.3% last year and organic growth at its foodservice division fell 6.1%.

European sales increased 4.8%, down from 6.3% while sales at Ahold’s operations in Central and South America and Asia rose 17.1%, 6% and 21.7% respectively.