International News - Embattled Ahold first quarter results better than expected

Crisis hit Dutch retailer Ahold has revealed first quarter sales figures ahead of analysts' expectations.

However, the store group said that sales for the period compared with the same stretch last year had fallen by 11.3 per cent to EUR 17.4 billion (£12.4 billion).

Sales were hit by lower currency exchange rates but, excluding that impact, increased by 4.6 per cent.

In the US, Ahold posted retail sales ahead by 4.8 per cent, but at the troubled Foodservice division they decreased by 1.5 per cent.

JP Morgan analyst Jaime Vazquez, said that he was 'particularly pleased' with Ahold's performance in the States.

Both Michael Resnick and David Abramson, chief financial officer and executive vice president respectively of US Foodservice, have offered their resignations, following the departure of president and chief executive Jim Miller.

Ahold was plunged into turmoil after an accounting scandal at the US Foodservice division.