The chain’s operating income totaled €248m in third quarter, down 13.9% and 10.8% at actual and constant exchange rates, respectively.

The firm reported sales of €7.36bn in the quarter, down 3.1% from €7.6bn, as restated, a year ago. At constant exchange rates, net sales rose by 0.6%, or 0.9%, excluding the negative effect of a change in Dutch legislation regarding VAT on tobacco.

Meanwhile, Ahold reported signing an agreement with Condorum regarding the sale of Ahold’s Slovakian business.

Ahold Slovakia operates 24 stores, with net sales of €159m in 2012. Ahold, after reviewing its strategic options, has agreed to sell the business as it has a limited market position in Slovakia.

The company believes that an exit from this country enables management to focus on its continued successful improvement of the Czech Republic business where the company operates 283 ALBERT stores, with 2012 net sales of €1.76bn.

The transaction, with undisclosed financial terms, is expected to close in the first half of 2014.

Ahold CEO Dick Boer said in the United States the company continues to operate in a very competitive environment with low inflation. He added that despite limited sales growth, the firm has gained market share in the supermarket segment and maintained its share in the all-outlet market.

"In the Netherlands, weak consumer sentiment was reflected in a further slowdown of market growth. We saw transactions remaining stable, albeit with a lower basket size and with consumers increasingly looking for value, impacting our market share performance this quarter. The underlying operating margin remained stable versus last year.

"We remain committed to our Reshaping Retail strategy and will continue to invest in growth, in both existing and new markets," Boer added.