Dutch retailer Ahold has reported an 11% rise in operating profits for the third quarter – evidence, the group says, that it is not losing business to discounters.

Operating profits improved to €262m for the past nine months, while total sales hit €5.8bn, including a rise in like-for-like sales of more than 8% in the Netherlands.

“Clearly the discounters will benefit in the current environment," chief executive John Rishton told the Financial Times. "The trick for us is to prevent our customers from wanting or needing to go to the discounters and to attract customers from supermarkets similar to ourselves.”

The performance comes after a major push in the US, where the retailer brings in more than half of its revenue. US arm Giant-Carlisle reported a rise in like-for-like sales of 5.4% for the period.