European retail giant Ahold Delhaize has published what it has described as a "solid" set of first quarter results, with net sales and income both rising at actual exchange rates.
Net sales soared 65.1 per cent to €15.9bn, while net income climbed 72.8 per cent to €356m, the group reported.
In addition, pro-forma underlying operating income increased by €45m on the previous year to €604m, up 8.1 per cent.
"We are pleased to report a resilient first quarter performance with an increase in margins for the group despite the ongoing deflationary environment in the United States," said Dick Boer, CEO of Ahold Delhaize. "We continue to make significant progress on the implementation of our Better Together strategy, investing in our customer proposition, while improving margins.
"Ten months after the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, we are fully on track with the integration and we are delivering on our synergy targets," he continued. "We are driving forward our integration programmes and continue to focus on sharing best practices across and within regions, as we aim to further strengthen our great local brands to ensure they remain customer-focused, close to their communities and positioned to win in their markets.
"For the full year, we reiterate our target of realizing €220m net synergies, including €56m realised year-to-date, and expect that the full year 2017 underlying operating margin for the Group will increase compared to 2016."