AMSTERDAM (AP) - Royal Ahold NV, the Dutch operator of U.S. supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Giant, has reported a 41 percent fall in fourth quarter profits as a result of pension and restructuring charges.
Net profit was Ã¢ Â¬158 million ($208 million), down from Ã¢ Â¬270 million in the same period the previous year. The fall was due to one-time charges of Ã¢ Â¬88 million to settle changes in the company's U.S. pension plan, and another Ã¢ Â¬88 million hit to write down the value of the company's software systems.
The charges masked a 7.5 percent increase in revenue to Ã¢ Â¬7.84 billion.
CEO Dick Boer says the company is "cautious" in its outlook for 2013, but would increase its dividend by 10 percent to Ã¢ Â¬0.44 per share, and buy back Ã¢ Â¬500 million worth of shares.