ICA, the Ahold-owned Scandinavian retail operation, has announced that sales for the first half of the year reached SEK46.2bn (€5bn), an increase of 0.8 per cent on 2010.

Planet Retail reported that operating income from January to June 2011 amounted to SEK1.2bn (€131m), down 3 per cent.

For the second quarter, net sales amounted to SEK24.4bn (€2.7bn), up 5.3 per cent in comparison with the second quarter of 2010.

'During the second quarter, our markets were still characterised by stiff competition and alower growth rate,' said ICA's CEOKenneth Bengtsson. 'The group's operating income improved during the second quarter due to strong operating income in Rimi Baltic, ICA Bank and ICA Real Estate, partially offset by a decrease in operating income at ICA Sweden and ICA Norway.'