Amsterdam, Netherlands Royal Ahold NV reported a sharp fall in second-quarter earnings Thursday after selling operations in the same period a year ago.
Operationally, the company suffered from shrinking margins on both sides of the Atlantic as it spent more on advertising and special bargains to attract increasingly price-sensitive shoppers.
Net profit was 338 million euros ($497 million), down from 2.23 billion euros.
Net sales were down 0.8% to 5.78 billion euros ($8.50 billion).
Sales grew more than 10% in Europe and less than 5% in the United States, where it owns the Stop & Shop and Giant chains.
Meanwhile, operating earnings fell 14% to 235 million euros ($345 million).